(In)fertility and loss: Conception and motherhood in the era of assisted reproductive technology

Iris Po Yee Lo, Celia Hoi Yan Chan

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This chapter examines heterosexual and lesbian women's meaning-making processes and experiences of infertility and of assisted reproduction through a sociological lens. The intersectional approach to infertility provides a good vantage point for exploring the various ways in which class and sexuality reinforce and/or challenge biomedical and cultural notions of (in)fertility, conception, and parenthood. The chapter considers the sociological lens to explore the experiences of (in)fertility and assisted reproductive technology (ART), with a focus on women's sense of self and loss shaped by unfulfilled wishes for family formation or/and social expectations toward motherhood, on shifts in and constraints of family ideologies, and on the inequalities embedded in the medicalization of infertility. Amidst the global transformation of intimate and family lives, coupled with rapid development of, yet unequal access to, ART across the globe, individuals' self-definitions of their infertile identities are worth exploring.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the sociology of death, grief and bereavement: A guide to theory and practice
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)9781315453859
ISBN (Print)9781138201071
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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