This paper reflexively considers the muted narratives of a desire for pregnancy and parenthood in teenaged women’s accounts of their journey to motherhood after deciding on abortion with their first, unexpected, pregnancy. By contrast their accounts were replete with good citizenship narratives that attested to pregnancy avoidance. Through the use of the Listening Guide, a feminist, layered, reflexive approach to data analysis, these accounts are considered in the wider social and cultural ‘narratives’ evident in the interview data, and the interviewee/interviewer relationship. It is suggested that the young women draw on dominant cultural tropes of the good teenager and mother, shaped by the desire to present themselves to the interviewer as acceptable citizens. It is debated whether the young women choose relative silence regarding their growing desire for pregnancy to avoid judgment in a society that problematises young motherhood, or are silenced by the same dominant discourse. Discussion considers what such a muted narrative might represent in a political and socio-cultural context. With narrow definitions of what is acceptable in the teenage years, and for motherhood, the young women’s desire to present as acceptable may eclipse valuable contextual considerations that are important to practitioners and policy makers in providing effective support.
Department of Nursing
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-02-03