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The last several decades have witnessed major changes in gender roles and family patterns, as well as a falling birth rate in Ireland and the rest of Europe. This book presents the results of the first major study to examine people’s attitudes to family formation and childbearing in Ireland; it also explores the effect of new family forms on well-being. The research was based on an in-depth qualitative study of 48 men and women in the childbearing age group, followed by a survey of a representative sample of 1,404 men and women. The study explored whether changes in gender roles impacted on family formation. The results showed that while women’s progress in the workplace has been welcomed, there is also a perceived threat of women’s advancement, as well as some ambiguity in the male role. Attitudes towards marriage and cohabitation are positive and cohabitation is seen as a step in the progression towards marriage. Attitudes towards being single are also positive, though in some cases ambivalent, but single women, particularly older and better educated ones are finding it more difficult to find a partner and this is impeding family formation on their part. Differences in women’s and men’s biological clocks were found to be important in relation to this, as were the lack of affordable childcare and flexible working arrangements. The findings were discussed in light of the demographic trends of later marriage, decreasing fertility and the increasing proportion of single people in the population.
The Irish mind has enabled the Irish to balance and accommodate imagination and intellect, emotion and reason, poetry and science. The notion of cultural difference is not just an Irish story, but a story of nations and ethnic groups all over the world. The story of modernity revolves around people coming to see and understand themselves as belonging to nations. Although there were other European nations that made Catholicism a keystone of national difference, there were many factors that made the Irish project different. The idea of creating a society that had a collective vision and commitment without being socialist became an ideal of the Catholic Church during the latter half of the twentieth century. The Church did, nevertheless, have a profound influence on Irish society and culture. The extent to which the Catholic Church shaped and influenced Irish politics has been the subject of much research and debate. The power of the Catholic Church in politics stemmed from the power it developed in the modernisation of Irish society and, in particular, the controlling of sexuality, marriage and fertility. During the first half of the twentieth century, the Irish developed a particular aversion to marriage. For many nations and ethnic groups, what binds people together is that they speak the same language. It may well be that for generations many Irish people identified the Irish language, music and sport as an inhibitor in embracing a less insular and more urbane, cosmopolitan disposition.
total fertility worldwide. Given this reality, we ask the following specific questions. Is the international campaign to control birth over? Is selective reproduction, and the managing of reproductive futures, an individual choice, unhindered by state control and notions of eugenics? The premise is that as fertility rates decline worldwide, the fervour to control fertility, and fertile bodies, does not dissipate; what evolves is the preferred mode of control. Although new technologies, for instance those that assist conception
in family formation, yet there has been little research on people’s attitudes to family formation and having children (Hakim 2003). Moreover, the relationship between changing gender role attitudes and behaviour and the new trends in family formation and fertility has not been adequately addressed. We shall address these questions primarily from the point of view of Ireland. However, we shall do so in the context of the international literature and trends. Comparisons of Irish Census data from 1986 to 2006 have revealed major demographic changes which have affected
, without laws in place, these guidelines are not regulated across clinics and rarely legally enforced (Reddy and Patel, 2015 ; Shah, 2009 ; Vora, 2013 ). Within an unregulated legal space, the experience of egg donors in India relies on the discretion of the clinic at which they are donating (Bailey, 2011 ). Interrogating the extent to which in Kolkata, India's egg donors relinquish ownership over their reproductive labour, thus enabling fertility clinics to instrumentalise their bodies, this chapter culturally contextualises agency bound by poverty. It moves beyond
-language proficiency, favourable exchange rates and tourist attractions. Overall, the South African egg donation economy is a paradigmatic example of the reshaping of global politics of reproduction through the normalisation and marketisation of assisted reproductive technology (ART) (Lie and Lykke, 2017 ). This chapter explores the biopolitical dimension of this particular local market for reproductive tissue, which is closely entwined with the global fertility industry. It revolves around the following twofold question. In which ways do Foucauldian biopolitics play out in the
draws on the concept of birth projects to demonstrate that as fertility rates decline worldwide, the fervour to control birthing bodies, especially of low-income and Black women in the global south, does not dissipate. The twentieth-century top-down population control projects, embedded in state propaganda and policies, were easily identifiable because of their starkness and brutality. What we have today are birth projects that are diffuse and couched in the frame of individual choice, which absolve the state of its responsibility. These neo-eugenic birth projects are