Reproducing Women

Family and Health Work across Three Generations

By Diana L. Gustafson and Marilyn Porter  

Paperback $23.95

How do women experience reproductive health? How is knowledge about health issues transmitted from one generation to the next? Utilizing sociological and feminist lenses, Reproducing Women argues that women experience reproductive health as a part of their entire life story, rather than as discrete medical “problems.” Drawing together stories and interviews with three generations of women across twenty-four families, this book examines women’s experience of their “reproductive lives” in order to uncover how women’s experience is rooted in the family and among generational relationships: between mother, daughter, grandmother and granddaughter. By placing women’s biological and embodied experiences, including issues such as menarche, contraception, sexual intercourse, childbirth and menopause, in a social and cultural context, women’s broader roles in ‘social reproduction’ are revealed.

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  • Women’s Reproductive Lives
  • Relationships: Mothers, Daughters and Granddaughters in Two Families
  • Becoming a Woman: Learning about Menarche and Sex
  • Becoming a Mother: Conception, Pregnancy and Birthing
  • Being a Mother: Motherwork, Identity Work and Reproducing the Family
  • The Moment of Menopause: Change and Transition in Women’s Reproductive Lives
  • Grandmothering and the Long Moment of Aging
  • Experience and the Reproductive Lives of Women
  • References


  • Diana L. Gustafson

    DIANA L. GUSTAFSON is an associate professor of social science and health in the Faculty of Medicine and affiliate faculty in the Department of Gender Studies at Memorial University.

  • Marilyn Porter

    MARILYN PORTER is professor emerita in the Department of Sociology, Memorial University.

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