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Special Issue: Normative Discourses and Lived Meanings of Parenting

Normative Discourses and Lived Meanings of Parenting: Exploring Gender and Diversity in Social Expectations on Parenthood

Several normative assumptions underlie the concept of ‘parenthood’. Societal, political and cultural forces shape beliefs on what it means to be a (good) parent. In turn, these beliefs play an active role in shaping social interactions. This results in normative discourses of what constitutes ‘ideal’ parenthood, generating social expectations as well as personal hopes and desires to meet this ideal.

For some people, satisfying societal norms and expectations is harder than for others. Social and biological factors such as age, marital status, physical and cognitive capacities, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and ethnicity can prevent people from achieving what is considered ‘good parenthood’. It is hence worthwhile to reflect on these norms and expectations, as well as on their performative role.

To explore how different social factors affect normative discourses and lived meanings of parenting, the guest editors – Dr Seppe Segers and Dr Giulia Cavaliere – welcome manuscript submissions for a special issue in DiGeSt, Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies.

The submissions should aim at studying the lived experience and/or the normative and conceptual meaning(s) of parenthood with a focus on gender and diversity. This special issue aims at contributing to the field of gender and diversity studies by inquiring into how parenthood ideals – endorsed by techno-cultural, political, religious, economic and socio-cultural powers – affect the lives and identities of various groups of people. It also aims to analyse how the effects on people’s lives and identity vary depending on ethnic background, social class, age, sexuality, and so forth.

The guest editors welcome both conceptual and empirical papers. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

– Post-menopausal motherhood;
– Single motherhood;
– Critique of heteronormative and two-parent standard;
– Medicalization of the female body and motherhood;
– The so-called motherhood mandate; including social and cultural expectations in favor of genetic motherhood;
– Fatherhood and masculinity;
– Queer parenting;
– Unequal access to assisted reproductive technology;
– Exploring emerging reproductive technologies (e.g. in vitro gametogenesis);
– Parenthood/parenting abilities and disability;
– Selection/editing techniques in assisted reproduction and disability rights critique;
– Religion and parenting expectations; religion and childlessness;
– The normative importance of parenthood;
– The normative importance of genetic ties in parent-child relationships;
– Disruptive technologies that could alter or undermine mainstream notions of parenthood;

DiGeSt is an interdisciplinary and international journal and accepts papers from authors working from all disciplinary backgrounds; including (though not limited to) gender and diversity studies, sociology, anthropology, empirical ethics, bioethics, feminist studies, psychology, political sciences and history…

For more information regarding submissions, please contact the guest editors Dr Seppe Segers (Ghent University – Bioethics Institute Ghent), seppe.segers@ugent.be and Dr Giulia Cavaliere (Lancaster University), g.cavaliere@lancaster.ac.uk

For more information on DiGeSt, contact the editors, Dr Ladan Rahbari and Dr Tina Goethals, or visit: https://www.digest.ugent.be/

The author guidelines can be accessed here: https://www.digest.ugent.be/about/submissions

Please submit your abstracts (250-300 words) for papers by December 18, 2019 to both the guest editors (Dr Seppe Segers, seppe.segers@ugent.be and Dr Giulia Cavaliere, g.cavaliere@lancaster.ac.uk). The editors will invite full papers on the basis of selected abstracts by mid-January 2020. Full papers are expected to be submitted for independent double-blind peer review by June 1, 2020. The special issue will be published in autumn 2020.