Towards a post-structural understanding of abortion and social class in England

Love, Gillian (2017) Towards a post-structural understanding of abortion and social class in England. Global Public Health. ISSN 1744-1692

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Abstract

Despite previous research suggesting that social class influences experiences of and attitudes to abortion, there is a dearth of research which studies the intersection of abortion and social class in England. Across the UK, abortion rates and experiences differ by region and socio-economic status, reflecting broader health inequalities. Contemporary austerity in the UK creates an imperative for new research which contextualises the experience of abortion within this socio-historical moment, and the worsening inequalities which have accompanied it. Whilst work on abortion and social inequality exists, it has often approached class as an a priori category. I argue that contemporary post-structural work on class provides a framework to go beyond this approach by examining how these social classifications occur; who has the power to classify; and how these classifications might be resisted. This framework is demonstrated with emerging findings from a life history study of abortion experiences in England. The applications of this to the work on abortion are potentially rich, because the act of ending a pregnancy invites classification from many quarters, from the legal (legal/illegal) to the medical (early/late) to the moral (deserved/undeserved). This work, therefore, speaks to public health concerns about access to and stigma around abortion and social inequalities.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Abortion, Class, Austerity
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Gillian Love
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2017 09:05
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 09:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/68772

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