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Publication Detail
Deconstructing “Single” Mothers by Choice: Transcending Blood, Genes, and the Biological Nuclear Family?
Abstract
The concept of biological kinship is a sociocultural construction of facts taken for granted as “natural.” The concept of blood, of “bond,” of “connection,” symbolizes the fact that relatives are perceived as having claims on one another by virtue of DNA. It is taken for granted that the biological relation attains a meaning in human relations. Yet, this taken-for-grantedness is rarely deconstructed. Thus, the purpose of this article is threefold: (a) to examine the conceptualization of the links between the social and the biological in societies of the Global North, and to analyze the assumptions that implicitly underpin the literature on new forms of family, in particular, “single” mothers by choice with donor-conceived children. Two of the most prolific scholars on the subject, from the field of psychology in the United Kingdom and from the field of social anthropology in Spain, will be discussed, taking into account a preliminary analysis of 35 ethnographic interviews with “single” mothers by choice that I have conducted during my fieldwork in Spain and in the United Kingdom; (b) to interrogate the discourses that categorize this group of women who have chosen to be mothers; and (c) to suggest a new research agenda building on the critical insights produced from addressing the first and second aims.
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