(In)fertility and Loss

Conception and Motherhood in the Era of Assisted Reproductive Technology

Authored by: Iris Po Yee Lo , Celia Hoi Yan Chan

Handbook of the Sociology of Death, Grief, and Bereavement

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138201064
eBook ISBN: 9781315453859
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315453859.ch21

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Abstract

This chapter examines heterosexual and lesbian women’s meaning-making processes and experiences of infertility and of assisted reproduction through a sociological lens. Transcending the hegemonic biomedical model, the sociological study of infertility not only provides an intersectional perspective for understanding women’s sense of self and loss, shaped by unfulfilled individual or/and societal expectations toward motherhood, but also investigates current shifts in and constraints of family ideologies as well as the underlying inequalities embedded in the medicalization of infertility in Western and Asian societies. We call for further cross-cultural sociological research into infertility in order to inform local and transnational practice, policy, and research.

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