Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Doing sex, having the baby : young women and transitions to motherhood
Author: Stapleton, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3477 8169
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This ethnographic study explores the experiences of seventeen young women, their significant others, and midwives, from pregnancy realisation through the early years of motherhood. It examines changes to significant relationships (as defined by the young women) over this period. Through an initial examination of the history of illegitimacy and the theme of 'unwanted ness' , I map changing attitudes to young women's reproductive activities and discuss moral discourses on adolescent subjectivity, especially as it pertains to adolescent motherhood. This thesis contributes to empirical research on the sociology of the adolescent female body at the convergence of two major life cycle transitions: adolescence and motherhood. Through an empirical analysis of embodiment and social construction, the diverse ways in which a selected sample of young women 'do' maternity are explored. The transmission of childbearing and rearing knowledges and practices, as passed from mothers to daughters, is also of central importance to this thesis. 2 Medical discourses play a significant role in policing and regulating women's bodies, in defining appropriate female behaviours, and in authorising socio-cultural constructions of femininity. Pregnancy and childbirth signalled the beginning of a different relationship between young women and their bodies as most had previously experienced little contact with medical services. Becoming a mother heralded an unaccustomed emphasis on the body and an expectation that young women would submit themselves, and their children, for regular monitoring and assessment. This thesis provides another set of lenses through which to examine the interplay of power and personal agency in the lives of young mothers, and to examine the relationship between the body and self-identity. Finally, the roles played by midwives and other health and related professionals, and the 'workings' of hierarchically organised institutions, are examined through respondents' narratives and set alongside discourses of choice and control in the contested arenas of female reproduction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available