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Procreation Stories: Reproduction, Nurturance, and Procreation in Life Narratives of Abortion Activists

Faye Ginsburg
American Ethnologist
Vol. 14, No. 4 (Nov., 1987), pp. 623-636
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/645317
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Procreation Stories: Reproduction, Nurturance, and Procreation in Life Narratives of Abortion Activists
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Abstract

Since the late 1960s, abortion has become a contested domain in American culture, one in which control over the relationships between reproduction, nurturance, sex, and gender is the object of struggle. Life stories of grassroots pro-choice and pro-life women reveal their activism, in part, as a process of creating new collective narrative forms for interpreting female life-cycle transitions. This activity is marked by distinctive generational experiences of different cohorts of women, revealing how different historical conditions make certain reproductive decisions dissonant with the available cultural models for marking them both cognitively and socially. Activism gives shape and meaning to "life scripts" through which women both manage and attempt to change structural contradictions between motherhood and work, which shape the lives of most American women. [American culture, gender, reproduction, life histories, symbolic anthropology]

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