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The Elusive EmbryoHow Women and Men Approach New Reproductive Technologies$
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Gay Becker

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520224308

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520224308.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

Redefining Normalcy

Redefining Normalcy

(p.187) Chapter 11 Redefining Normalcy
The Elusive Embryo

Gay Becker

University of California Press

When infertility goes on for years, the goal of parenthood becomes an abstraction whose realization may seem increasingly unlikely. The purpose of this chapter is to restore normalcy means reconstructing the life story, and leaving space for new possibilities to emerge. Redefining normalcy is a gradual process in which women and men rework what “normal” means at the same time that they rethink their relationship with each other. Redefining normalcy for oneself means rethinking specific aspects of gender identity in relation to changing life experiences. This chapter reveals that grieving for unborn children is a catalyst for redefining normalcy. There are no rituals or other public markers to help people define or manage their grief when they have experienced infertility. The grieving process often makes it possible for people to reconsider cultural ideologies to which they previously subscribed, such as the cultural ideology of biological parenthood, and to resist those ideologies in favor of alternative solutions.

Keywords:   redefining normalcy, gender identity, grieving, infertility, cultural ideologies, biological parenthood

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