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Durham e-Theses
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(Re)collections: Engaging Feminist Geography with Embodied and Relational Experiences of Pregnancy Losses

MCNIVEN, ABIGAIL (2014) (Re)collections: Engaging Feminist Geography with Embodied and Relational Experiences of Pregnancy Losses. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



With empirically-grounded and theoretically-inferred consideration in this thesis, I bring into focus a vast ‘collection’ of components entailed in lived experiences of pregnancy losses and, in particular, foreground the ways in which spaces and places are intimately involved. This includes, for example, attending to medical settings such as hospitals, workplaces, homes and gardens, online support communities, cemeteries and other memorial locations in addition to bodies which are simultaneously material and emotional. Since pregnancy losses are inter-personal, I also discuss social relations between women, their embryos, foetuses, babies and/or children, medical staff, partners, family members, friends, work colleagues, online group users and ‘wider society’.

The multiplicity of components within, and across, participants’ experiences serves to simultaneously break apart and reassemble the label I selected for the research of ‘pregnancy losses’. I utilise several sub-disciplines across the thesis, finding a particularly significant and tricky tension between two particular areas I wish to engage: feminist geographies and the geographies of death and dying. My research weaves together feminist, embodied, emotional geographies through which I seek to understand experiences of pregnancy losses. In doing so, I foreground the richness, depth and complexity of lived experiences by developing understandings of pregnancy losses which embrace, rather than sanitise or marginalise, bodily materiality and social relations as well as emotional dynamics.

My thesis serves to bring together and explore the recollections of pregnancy loss experiences, organised around a number of spatial contexts and activities. These are reflected in the focus of each chapter in terms of interior bodies, social relations, bodily fluids, online sites, external skins and practices of memorialisation. My discussions work to ‘collect’ together understandings about the somewhat paradoxical fullness and variety of accumulated meanings that can be held about pregnancy loss experiences.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Oct 2014 11:35

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