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Conceptualizing a feminine self through post-abortion discourses : an analysis of subjectivity and power relations

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Conceptualizing a feminine self through post-abortion discourses : an analysis of subjectivity and power relations

Gallant, Jessica (2005) Conceptualizing a feminine self through post-abortion discourses : an analysis of subjectivity and power relations. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The experience of having an abortion has been constructed in a particular way. The literature and narratives surrounding responses to abortion tends to revolve around the emotional aspects, specifically negative emotional aspects, of an abortion experience. These discourses play an important role in shaping or re-shaping the specific, gendered subjectivities of women that experienced an abortion. In this thesis, I examine the representation of an abortion experience as one that is 'traumatic' in a woman's life. Specifically, I analyze the framework that shapes and reflects the way abortion is perceived in our culture. Traditional notions of femininity and the characteristics that constitute a feminine subjectivity are articulated through postabortion discourses. Therefore, I argue that post-abortion discourses engage in a dialogue that perpetuates a particular discursive framework about abortion. Using a social constructionist perspective I argue that experiences of abortion are constructed in such a way that it is perceived as a 'traumatic' experience for a woman to have an abortion. I use three different websites and one book to explicate how idealized notions of femininity shape women's subjectivities. I conduct an in-depth analysis of these websites and the book and relate to power relations, subjectivity and 'truth.' I use Michel Foucault's conceptualization of power and discourse as a basis for setting my arguments and I complement my research by using different feminist theorists to explicate the processes involved in shaping women's experiences in our culture. I conclude by noting the limitations to my research as well as indications for further research.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Gallant, Jessica
Pagination:vii, 136 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Beaman, L. S
ID Code:8497
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:27
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:27
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