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Fertility Decision-Making: A Québec-Specific Analysis


Fertility Decision-Making: A Québec-Specific Analysis

Gregoire, Elizabeth (2014) Fertility Decision-Making: A Québec-Specific Analysis. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis examines different aspects considered during the fertility decision-making process that unfolds during a woman’s life. In order to more fully understand how this important decision is taken (or arrived at), it was deemed necessary to investigate both women with children and women with no children, who are often viewed differently and who are not always asked to articulate their decisions to the same extent. Due to the temporal and ongoing nature of fertility and childbearing decision-making, interviews and self-directed questionnaires were used to obtain fertility histories of 26 women. Analysis of the collected data was made with regard to facets such as the meaning of motherhood; influences, desires and intentions; partners; decision-making and readiness; and contraceptive choices. Questions such as when decision-making begins and how it is negotiated with regard to other life objectives are looked at. Within a Quebec context, the analysis drew on theories from the Second Demographic Transition to frame the question and ongoing decision-making process, and from Symbolic Interactionism to seek detailed information from women themselves and acknowledge the high level of agency they exert in coming to a decision. As such, the women in this study had/will have fewer children than prior generations, and when they are older in age, and within either married or co-habitational relationships. Partners and age emerge as the strongest influences, as well as the primary decisional elements of consideration for both groups of women. The narratives show fluid and sometimes, negotiated, life paths that were not always in line with original intention or expected outcome.

Keywords: fertility; decision-making; childbearing intention; motherhood

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Gregoire, Elizabeth
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:May 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gauvreau, Danielle
ID Code:978677
Deposited On:07 Nov 2014 16:59
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47
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