• First Language: Turkish

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors: Meral Salman YIKMIŞ

  • Dates: 1 January 2009

Being Nonmother in a Pronatalist Culture This qualitative research tries to understand how the pronatalist cultural acceptances, which promote reproduction by locating the family within the centre of social life and conflating womanhood with motherhood, mould non-mother women’s relationship with their husbands/partners, family members, friends with children and with other people they meet in their everyday life. To find answers to this research question, I apply the data derived from the face-to-face interviews and e-interviews conducted with fourteen childless women. To be able to understand how the participants find themselves within the pronatalist culture and perceive their gendered being, first of all I focus on their conceptualizing of womanhood and motherhood and then, on their relationship with others. The urban life and the social milieu relatively protect them from the pronatalist cultural acceptances. Yet they cannot totally escape from connection with people who can easily pose questions about their childlessness or give advice to them about having children or feel sorry for their childlessness. For those women who question the pronatalist cultural acceptances, childlessness becomes a field of struggle and they become the subjects of it. The others who develop strategies without challenging the sexist dimension of pronatalist culture unknowingly weaken mothers and non-mothers although they just want to get empowered.

Meral Salman YIKMIŞ