Title page for ETD etd-05142009-094711

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Gravett, Ilse
URN etd-05142009-094711
Document Title Narratives of couples affected by infertility : daring to be fruitful
Degree PhD
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof J C Muller Supervisor
  • feminism
  • postfoundationalism
  • practical theology
  • fruitfulness
  • infertility
  • affected
  • couples
  • narrative
  • social constructionism
  • ‘Seven Movements’
Date 2009-04-18
Availability unrestricted
Fertility lies at the heart of Life: it re-invigorates and regenerates. It is one of the most intimate areas of human existence.

Worldwide, infertility is on the increase. However, advances in biomedical technologies, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) give hope to those who are suffering from infertility. At the same time it brings the question of moral responsibility into focus. The availability of donor sperm and eggs, coupled with greater recognition of the rights of lesbians and gays to become parents either by adoption, utilising donor material, or openly exercising their rights as already existing parents, have complicated previous more conservative understandings of what ‘family’ means.

The epistemological point of departure of this research is described in Chapter 3 and is positioned within postfoundational practical theology, with an emphasis on critical emancipative feminism. The underlying research methodology is the narrative approach, embedded in social constructionism.

The research explores the narratives of four couples. These co-researchers, affected by infertility and childlessness, share their stories of surrogacy, secondary infertility, gay parenting and miscarriage that are presented in Chapters 4 to 7. In Chapter 2 the researcher includes her story as someone living with infertility. Particular attention was paid to understand and develop insights concerning preferred lives of fruitfulness in spite of infertility and childlessness.

The explored narratives revealed varying discourses that are introduced through out the thesis, but are specifically integrated in Chapter 8. In the final chapter the author reflects critically on the research and writing process as a whole.

© University of Pretoria 2008

Please cite as follows:

Gravett, I 2008, Narratives of couples affected by infertility : daring to be fruitful , PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-etd-05142009-094711/ >


  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
 28.8 Modem   56K Modem   ISDN (64 Kb)   ISDN (128 Kb)   Higher-speed Access 
  00front.pdf 76.55 Kb 00:00:21 00:00:10 00:00:09 00:00:04 < 00:00:01
  01chapter1-2.pdf 211.92 Kb 00:00:58 00:00:30 00:00:26 00:00:13 00:00:01
  02chapter3.pdf 258.76 Kb 00:01:11 00:00:36 00:00:32 00:00:16 00:00:01
  03chapters4-5.pdf 307.04 Kb 00:01:25 00:00:43 00:00:38 00:00:19 00:00:01
  04chapters6-7.pdf 304.67 Kb 00:01:24 00:00:43 00:00:38 00:00:19 00:00:01
  05chapters8-9.pdf 254.93 Kb 00:01:10 00:00:36 00:00:31 00:00:15 00:00:01
  06back.pdf 208.88 Kb 00:00:58 00:00:29 00:00:26 00:00:13 00:00:01

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