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Title: A journey through infertility : women's ways of empowerment
Authors: Borg, Stephanie (2009)
Keywords: Mothers -- Malta
Infertility, Female -- Malta
Infertility, Female -- Psychological aspects
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Borg, S. (2009). A journey through infertility : women's ways of empowerment (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: In Malta, mothering is a crucial aspect in socially identifying oneself as woman. Local ideologies of the maternal are heavily saturated with the sociocultural and religious discourses of thousands of years, and motherhood is considered the core of female identity. Infertility is a traumatic event with the potential to severely limit a woman's psychological and social development. Women experiencing infertility, particularly within such a context, face significant emotional pain, psychological distress, and social isolation. Local support for women living through infertility is vital yet scarce, and sociological literature regarding women's experiences of infertility is limited. Drawing upon a feminist standpoint epistemology, this study explores women's experiences of infertility and support within the Maltese context. Through the use of semi-structured, in depth interviews, it looks at the ways in which women have, and continue to be, constructed as fertile subjects within a culture where motherhood is synonymous with womanhood. The study also investigates the perceived importance of support in the infertility experience, especially the support of other women, and the ways in which, through this support, women empower themselves and others to subvert traditional notions of the maternal. The research findings illuminate varied difficulties women face in infertility, arising mainly from socially-constructed, gendered, and stereotypical notions of the maternal. Furthermore, the importance of support, particularly that of other women, is clearly highlighted as a primary factor in enabling women to move beyond infertility, to lead fulfilling lives outside motherhood. The research concludes with a summary of the main findings, and makes recommendations for further research, policy and service development.
Description: M.YOUTH&COMM.STUD.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 1999-2010
Dissertations - FacSoWYCS - 2008-2010

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