Second revision workshop
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Second Revision Workshop. Transformations, Week 22. Workshop Aims. Continue to draw connections across the module Provoke refinements in your revision strategies Think through the remaining topics – some key points Discuss strategies in the exam room. The Exam.

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Second Revision Workshop

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Second revision workshop

Second Revision Workshop

Transformations, Week 22


Workshop aims

Workshop Aims

  • Continue to draw connections across the module

  • Provoke refinements in your revision strategies

  • Think through the remaining topics – some key points

  • Discuss strategies in the exam room

The Exam

When? 9.30 am Monday 18 June

Where? Butterworth Hall


Topic by topic revision 1

Topic by Topic Revision 1

  • Work in small groups on one of the following topics:

    Beyond the nuclear family; Adoption; Timing Parenthood; Contraception; Abortion; Infertility; IVF; Reprogenetics; Gamete Donation; Surrogacy

  • Identify which module concepts are particularly relevant from the following list (2 slides). Then try to come up with three bullet points that reflect major issues/learning points for this topic that you would need to keep in mind when revising it. Can you think of any authors/studies relevant to this topic?

  • You won’t remember everything – don’t worry, it’s not a test; it’s an opportunity.


Key module concepts

Key Module Concepts

  • Civic/cultural vs ethnic nationalism

  • Reproduction (obviously). Biological reproduction and social relations of reproduction.

  • Gender divisions of labour in reproduction

  • Fertility rates – just risen again in UK – and infertility

  • Civic/cultural vs. ethnic nationalism and link to state policies

  • Reproductive Rights

  • ‘Foetal rights’

  • New Reproductive Technologies, inc. IVF, surrogacy, reprogenetics, gamete donation

  • Ethics

  • Saviour Siblings

  • Parenting - biological or genetic

    - gestational (mother only)

    - social

    - public and private


Module concepts continued

Module Concepts continued

  •  Femininity and Motherhood; Masculinity and Fatherhood

  • (‘to father’ = to reproduce genetically; ‘to mother’ = to reproduce socially)

  • Social birth (precedes actual birth)

  • Timing Reproduction – biological time / social time

  • ‘Fitness’ to parent, gendered discourses of ‘good’ parenting (and ‘bad’)

  • Possessive Individualism re claims over reproductive potential

  • Psychoanalysis and the ‘reproduction of mothering’

  • Recombinant families

  • Race, ‘racialization’ and the politics of reproduction

  • Surrogacy – partial and full, commercial & altruistic

  • Adoption – inc. transracial, transnational, lesbian and gay


Strategies in the exam room

Strategies in the Exam Room

  • Scenario 1: Your time management has gone awry and there’s only 10 minutes left when you’re only half way through your planned answer to the last question.

  • What do you do now, and what could you have done earlier?

  • Scenario 2: You got started ok but now your mind’s gone blank and you feel you can’t remember anything.

  • What do you do now, and what could you have done earlier?


Topic by topic revision 2

Topic by Topic Revision 2

  • Work in small groups on a different one of the following topics:

    Beyond the nuclear family; Adoption; Timing Parenthood; Contraception; Abortion; Infertility; IVF; Reprogenetics; Gamete Donation; Surrogacy

  • From what you can recall about each topic, identify which module concepts are particularly relevant from the list. Then try to come up with three bullet points that reflect major issues/learning points for this topic that you would need to keep in mind when revising it, together with relevant authors/research.


Beyond the nuclear family

Beyond the Nuclear Family

  • New types of parenting – cohabiting, single parents, gay and lesbian parents, recombinant families – challenging ‘norm’ of heterosexual, nuclear and biological family.

  •  Family values lobby argue lone mothers choosing to parent without men and reproducing underclass – but is just choice?

  • Identity projects of new group of middle class professional lone mothers reproduces negative discourse for working class

  • NRTs providing new routes to gay and lesbian parenthood

  • Discourse that gay and lesbian parents ‘unfit’, and critique

  • Campion: fitness to parent cannot be reduced to sexuality

  • Dunne: far from being inherently dysfunctional, lesbian parents are rethinking gendered parenthood in creative ways.


Adoption

Adoption

  •  Legal process transferring family belonging & legal rights & responsibilities from birth parent(s) to adoptive parents

  • Fewer babies available for adoption than in past, main ‘source’ is children living in state institutions

  • Media controversy about need to protect children but also right of state to remove children from birth parents

  • Campion: Adoptive parents have to be extraordinary as social workers seek to ‘compensate’ children

  • 2005, 2007 legislation sought to impose equality - limited 

  • Transracial adoption: a practical solution or failing children?

  • Transnational adoption: a practical solution or new colonialism?


Timing parenthood

Timing Parenthood

  • Timing of fatherhood not seen as controversial as timing of motherhood

  • Decision to become a mother (or try to become a mother) is dependent on a range of social and interpersonal factors, as well as biological capacities

  • Both younger and older mothers find themselves subject to negative stereotypes as a result of their perceived deviation from reproductive norms.

  • The women both negotiate those norms in ways which simultaneously reinforce them and disrupt them.

  • The lived experiences of older and younger motherhood deviate substantially from the ideologically drive representations of those experiences.


Contraception

Contraception

  • Hormonal contraceptives have ended the necessary link between heterosex and reproduction.

  • Debate continues as to whether this liberates women or whether it subjects them to contraceptive technologies with health risks and side effects.

  • Contraception is still mainly seen as women’s responsibility, and all the recently developed methods work through women’s bodies. – can be seen as positive and negative.

  • Differences between women are important when it comes to accessing contraception, and the spectre of eugenics lingers – need to consider who is encouraged to use which method; who are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ users.


Abortion

Abortion

  • A very contested issue

  • The debate is frequently articulated in terms of competing rights (woman / foetus)

  • UK’s limited access to abortion granted on grounds of safeguarding women’s health, not right to choose

  • Abortion policy / practice tells us a lot about normative ideas of what constitutes a ‘good mother’ and the ‘right’ kind of reproduction.

  • The right not to have to choose abortion is as significant as the right to choose

  • There is tension between feminists and disability activists over abortion


Infertility

Infertility

  • Definitions of infertility are contested – not a static condition

  • Very little is known about the causes of infertility (and most in undiagnosed)

  • The experience of infertility can be very traumatic (not least because of the normative status of parenthood in relation to gender identity)

  • It is important to consider infertility from a global perspective – issues of reproductive health care; social impacts of infertility; gender relations

  • Feminists have focused on the issue of infertility as a means of challenging normative ideas about what a ‘proper’ woman is and to emphasise primary reproductive health care / bodily autonomy etc…


Second revision workshop

IVF

  • IVF is a new reproductive technology that is highly in demand from patients

  • IVF is regulated in the UK by the HEFA

  • It both affirms, and disrupts, normative reproductive categories

  • The practice of IVF places huge responsibility onto women for both the everyday work of IVF and its outcomes.

  • It has been the focus of considerable opposition from both feminists and non-feminists, but on very different grounds.

  • IVF is a pre-requisite for other NRTs, such as ICSI; pre-implantation genetic diagnosis; gestational surrogacy


Reprogenetics

Reprogenetics

  • Health, illness, the body and a wide variety of traits and characteristics are increasingly conceptualised in genetic terms

  • There is a lot of controversy around reproductive genetics – the status of the embryo; anxieties around ‘design’; links between reproductive genetics and stem cell research

  • Genetic testing of embryos is likely to continue to expand, creating new choices, possibilities, dilemmas and responsibilities for women.

  • Raises important ethical questions about what a life worth living is (re: exclusion of embryos with disabilities etc)


Gamete donation

Gamete Donation

  • egg and sperm donation appear to be parallel bodily goods, but reflect ‘different regimes of body commodification for men and women’ (Almeling 2007: 319)

  • Eggs and embryos are valued and conceptualized very differently by women

  • The act of donation (and the justifications available to donors) is profoundly gendered

  • The demand for eggs (for fertility treatment and for research) reinforces the responsibilities placed on women to be mothers, to be altruistic and to be responsible for health care


Surrogacy

Surrogacy

  • the term ‘surrogacy’ incorporates a wide range of practices / reproductive relationships

  • biological ‘facts’ are deployed in highly problematic ways in resolving / making sense of surrogacy arrangements

  • The practice of surrogacy raises concerns about the commodification of women / babies; the commercialization of reproduction; the exploitation of (some) women

  • Parenthood is multiple, but not all parents are evaluated equally


Finally

Finally…

  • Best of luck with your revision and the exam

  • I hope you’ve enjoyed the module

  • I have – you’ve been a great group to teach!


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