Teenage pregnancy & mothering in the face of social exclusion: discourse, phenomenology, and an affirmation of positive maternal identity

May, Sandy M. (2014) Teenage pregnancy & mothering in the face of social exclusion: discourse, phenomenology, and an affirmation of positive maternal identity. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In contemporary Western society teenage pregnancy and motherhood are understood almost exclusively as problematic, undesirable, and in need of intervention. Social anxieties are seemingly paradoxical, however, given the decades of steadily declining, and current historically low rates. Using poststructural analysis, psychoanalysis, and autobiographical narrative, the purpose of this study was to examine the underlying power dynamics inherent in discourse about teenage pregnancy and teenage mothers in Canada and the United States, to challenge hegemonic assumptions about adolescent pregnancy, early motherhood, and young mothers themselves, and demonstrate that stigmatizing and marginalizing adolescent pregnancy and young mothers has consequences that are counterproductive, and harmful to young women and their children at the phenomenological level. While many studies have documented the effects of adolescent pregnancy and parenting, few have examined the role of discourse itself in shaping and impacting young women’s experiences, and moreover, its role in shaping, and compounding many of the adverse effects associated with teenage pregnancy and childbearing. Lastly, to my knowledge, no studies have examined the subject by drawing on and incorporating the researcher’s own experiences of adolescent pregnancy and mothering.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15580
Item ID: 15580
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 171-180)
Keywords: teenage mothers, stigma, social exclusion, discourse, psychoanalysis
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Gender Studies
Date: August 2014
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/C4MS-1E94
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Teenage mothers--Canada; Teenage pregnancy--Canada; Psychoanalysis--Canada; Stigma (Social psychology)--Canada; Social isolation--Canada; Marginality, Social--Canada; Teenage mother--United States; Teenage pregnancy--United States; Psychoanalysis--United States; Stigma (Social psychology)--United States; Social isolation--United States; Marginality, Social--United States

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