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First Revision Workshop

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1 First Revision Workshop
Transformations, Week 21 This is going to be more of a workshop than a lecture and we’re going to ask you for a lot of engagement and participation. We’re not expecting you to have everything revised already – this is a start-up exercise to help you see how much you already know and to think about the module holistically, not just in terms of specific and isolated topics.

2 Workshop Aims introduce the exam
provoke thought about your revision strategies identify key concepts on the module draw connections across the module convince you that you already know more than you think start thinking what you would need to know about in order to write on some term 1 topics

3 The Exam When? Monday 9 June, 2pm Where? Rootes Restaurant Area
Duration? 2 or 3 hours Rubric Answer at least 1 question from each section Section 1 Why do people have children?; Who owns women’s bodies?; Femininity and motherhood; Masculinity and fatherhood; Beyond the nuclear family; Pregnancy, Childbirth; Infant feeding Section 2: Adoption; Timing Parenthood; Contraception; Abortion; Infertility; IVF and Gamete Donation; Reprogenetics; Surrogacy Your exam is in the afternoon on Monday 9 June, in the Rootes Restaurant Area (a new exam hall on me!). The Exam has two sections. If you did one piece of assessed work then you have to answer 2 questions in 2 hours, 1 from each section of the paper. If you didn’t then you have to answer 3 questions in 3 hours, at least 1 from each section of the paper. These are the only limits placed on you. You can choose to answer a question on the same topic as your assessed work, but you should not reproduce chunks of material directly from one to the other. Of course you can reproduce conceptual understanding, discuss the same authors etc., but the question will require a different angle. If you’re in any doubt, it’s best to pick another question. There are 16 questions altogether, 8 in section 1 and 8 in section 2. There is 1 question on each of the following topics: Section 1: Why do people have children?; who controls women’s bodies?; femininity and motherhood; masculinity and fatherhood; beyond the nuclear family; pregnancy; childbirth; infant feeding [different order for beyond nuclear family on handout; this is order on the exam paper] Section 2: Adoption, timing parenthood; contraception; abortion; infertility; IVF and gamete donation; reprogenetics; surrogacy. Structure of exam is similar to last few years, but obviously the curriculum shifts (new topic on infant feeding, one lecture combining IVF and gamete donation whereas before were separate). The earlier the past papers the more likely the topic changes.

4 Why do you do exams? To demonstrate what you know University regulations To demonstrate capacity to work under pressure To demonstrate time management skills To demonstrate skills of privileging and focus To demonstrate independent thinking To demonstrate creativity, synthesis, originality To bring everything together as the module ends In order to be classified In order to be classified according to what you know To demonstrate skills to apply concepts/ideas to specific questions To demonstrate ability to think on your feet To bring everything together

5 Revision Strategies Write down what you got right in your revision strategy last year and how you achieved it. active revision (writing; speaking; mind-mapping); practising timed answers using past papers; thinking conceptually and being able to make links; having spare topics ready in case don’t like question Write down what you want to improve on in your revision strategy this year and how you’re going to do it. starting earlier; not getting so stressed out; not procrastinating; dividing the time better in the exam

6 Key Module Concepts Reproduction (obviously). Biological reproduction and social relations of reproduction. Gender divisions of labour in reproduction, gender essentialism, binaries Fertility rates – just risen again in UK – and infertility (medical and social) Civic/cultural vs. ethnic nationalism and link to state policies Reproductive Rights ‘Foetal rights’ Fertility rates, primary and secondary infertility, voluntary and involuntary childlessness New Reproductive Technologies, inc. IVF, surrogacy, reprogenetics, gamete donation Ethics: of gamete donation, of genetic screening Saviour Siblings Parenting - biological or genetic - gestational (mother only) - social - public and private

7 Module Concepts continued
Nuclear family, heteronormativity, normal/abnormal, moral panics Femininity and Motherhood; Masculinity and Fatherhood, gendered identities, reified identities, intersectionality (‘to father’ = to reproduce genetically; ‘to mother’ = to reproduce socially) Public and private parenting Social birth (precedes actual birth) Timing Reproduction – biological time / social time ‘Fitness’ to parent, gendered discourses of ‘good’ parenting (and ‘bad’) Eugenics, disability rights and reproduction 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 Others concepts…?

8 Key Module Objectives What follows are 12 module objectives
Working in pairs, read through them, identifying any additional key concepts, and identify which module topics they are most associated with (many of them cover several weeks of work, not just one).

9 Key Module Objectives 1. To subject to sociological and feminist scrutiny the often taken for granted practices of having (or not having) and raising children and the ways they have been and are being transformed in contemporary society. Primarily UK focus but with some international perspectives. 2. To investigate the challenges to the norm of the heterosexual, nuclear and biologically based family posed by new social relations of reproduction in the UK. 3. To explore the extent to which the necessary link between heterosex and generational reproduction has been weakened or broken and the gendered implications. 4. To contextualise feminist demands for women’s reproductive rights, and the forms of opposition faced from the various stakeholders in women’s reproductive bodies.

10 5. To examine the links between parenting and gender identity, ie
 5. To examine the links between parenting and gender identity, ie. motherhood and femininity; fatherhood and masculinity. 6. To explore the unequal gender division of labour both in biological reproduction and social reproduction, the extent to which they are linked and how women’s greater share of the daily maintenance of human life is produced and reproduced. To ask what scope there is for men to take a more equal share of child-care. 7. To recognise women’s embodied reproductive work, and the implications this has for their identity projects.

11 8. To explore discourses about who’s fit to parent and the practices that these discourses shore up, thus illuminating the extent to which social hierarchies are produced and reproduced through the medical and welfare institutions that govern biological reproduction. 9. To consider intersectionality in reproduction: it is not just gender that makes a difference but also ‘race’, class, (dis)ability, age etc. 10.To consider and critique legal interventions in reproduction, eg. surrogacy contracts; adoption procedures, regulation of reprogenetics. To address the complexities of NRTs, including gender, ethics, regulation etc, considering the most recent (eg. reprogenetics, gamete donation) as well as the now commonplace (eg hormonal contraception, IVF).

12 11. To consider the interface between medical practitioners and women of reproductive age in an era of technology, paying particular attention to women’s agency. 12. To examine debates about the timing and risks of motherhood, particularly concerns about teenage mothers and older mothers, in the light of experiences of old and young motherhood. 13. To address the complexities of NRTs, including gender, ethics, regulation etc, considering the most recent (eg. reprogenetics, gamete donation) as well as the now commonplace (eg. hormonal contraception, IVF).

13 Topic by Topic Revision
Work in small groups of 3/4 From what you can recall about each topic, try to come up with bullet points that reflect the major learning points for those weeks. What are the key points (e.g. the conclusions from the lecture) that you would need to think about when revising this topic? You won’t remember everything – don’t worry, it’s not a test. It’s a starting point for your revision (and you know more already than you might feel like you do). I’ve completed the first page to give you the idea

14 Why Children (and why not)?
A question mostly asked of women (why?) For biological determinists children are an outcome of nature/sex/biology, not a choice In Sociology having (or not having) children is an outcome of complex social, political, cultural and economic factors, many of them gendered Hormonal contraception & (limited) availability of abortion have broken link between heterosex & children For Chodorow it’s psychological – urge to mother is reproduced in women as part of their childhood Experiences of women who choose not to be mothers show dominance of myth that all ‘real’ women want children, as well as its contestation as women try to unshackle femininity from motherhood (Gillespie).

15 Who Owns Women’s Bodies? Who Needs Children?
Family, community, state all stakeholders in reproduction Women more crucial to biological reproduction than men, partly why others have sought to control their reproduction Women’s reproductive rights - key demand of 2nd wave feminism Relies on new concept of self from 17th c – possessive individualism (MacPherson) – initially applied only to propertied men but then claimed by women (and others) Husbands, families, communities, religious organisations, governments have all put pressure on women to reproduce more or less, or not at all (dependent on ‘fitness’ claims; desired family/population size, whether state espouses ethnic or cultural nationalism)

16 Femininity and Motherhood
Dominant discourse: motherhood = ultimate expression of femininity (so women without children not ‘real’ women) Reality: some women definitely want children, others definitely don’t, others are ambivalent 2nd-wave feminism exposed motherhood: as root of women’s oppression via domestic confinement (Firestone); as an institution perpetuating unequal gender division of reproductive work (Rich)   Dominant discourses about good mother (eg. kind, self- sacrificing) map onto dominant discourses of femininity, so when not coping some mothers reluctant to get help (Choi) Ideas about good and bad mothering not fixed but changing product of history (Smart) Today’s MC ideals/practices of intensive motherhood at odds with women’s career progression; fathers not limited in same ways

17 Masculinity and Fatherhood
Clear change in representations and practices of fathering in the West, but also many elements of continuity No dominant discourse that fatherhood = men’s destiny But hegemonic masculinity expects Provision; Protection; Authority/Discipline and public fatherhood from the ‘good’ father Social problems often blamed (e.g. by New Right) on absent fathers: fear of fatherlessness (seen to produce lack of discipline) Fatherhood increasingly being represented as nurturing, but there are many micro- and macro-level constraints to fathers’ greater involvement in childcare (e.g. structure of labour market, ideas about masculinity, etc.) Fatherhood is a site of performance of gender – it is a means through which men demonstrate and produce their masculinity Ideas and practices of fatherhood are also shaped by class, ethnicity, sexuality  importance of intersectionality

18 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 – is it a choice? If so isn’t choice good in new right discourse? 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

19 Embodied Pregnancy In past century, experiences of pregnancy have become much more medicalised and technology use become routinised Draper: woman’s embodied knowledge of her pregnancy (haptic hexis) displaced by authority of the medical expert and machinery’s visual knowledge of pregnancy (optic hexis) Do new technologies expand women’s choice and autonomy or promote anxiety, risk and a new eugenics? Screening tests only give probabilities and some diagnostic tests carry risks – how much do women understand? How easy is it not to have the tests? Consent required from pregnant woman but pressure to ‘ensure’ a healthy baby strong; is consent to screening de facto consent to abortion? Ultrasound scans blur social and medical events: father ‘bonds’ with baby, images and DVDs circulate, social birth precedes biological birth Visualisation and screening technologies changed how we conceptualise the status of foetus and what we consider to be a ‘good’ pregnancy, and thus they play a central role in debates on abortion and disability rights

20 Giving Birth Childbirth = medicalised – this reframed childbirth as an always potentially ‘risky’ medical event  thus from 17th c it has been increasingly subject to gaze and interventions of medical professionals (originally all men) rather than ‘wise women’ Hospital births now hegemonic, C-sections more common symbolically and materially, childbirth structured in line with doctor’s gaze, rather than pregnant woman’s experience Emily Martin: pregnant body represented as machine, reproduction as production. Preoccupations with efficiency routine, legitimated as about ‘safety’ but serving hospital Women’s own accounts stress importance of control, which means different types of birth for different women  In midwifery the ‘with-woman’ discourse competes with a ‘with-institution’ discourse

21 Week after next… In seminars this week… Continue topic by topic
Making links between topics Tips on survival in the exam room In seminars this week… Further discuss key concepts, module objectives, key points within topics Further discuss revision strategies Choose topic to revise ready for mock paper in week 4 seminar

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