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Narratives of Sorrow and DignityJapanese Women, Pregnancy Loss, and Modern Rituals of Grieving$
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Bardwell L. Smith

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199942138

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199942138.001.0001

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Mothers, Society, and Pregnancy Loss

Mothers, Society, and Pregnancy Loss

Rethinking the Meaning of Nurture

(p.204) 7 Mothers, Society, and Pregnancy Loss
Narratives of Sorrow and Dignity

Bardwell L. Smith

Oxford University Press

Discusses how social and cultural constructions of motherhood impact women’s experiences in pregnancy loss, and how feminist critique has focused on interconnections of power, identity, and sexuality. Reexamines residual fears of tatari and how discourses about and practice of mizuko kuyō are debated by pro-choice Japanese women. Discussion of how abortion relates to the politics of motherhood in Japan and in the United States. Meredith Underwood provides insights about socially driven forms of women’s agency in patriarchal societies. Hashimoto Yayoi views the concept of mizuko not only as lost child or fetus but even more as the mother’s more fundamental potential. Ueno Chizuko looks at deeper forms of nurturing and bonding among women. The chapter challenges conventional interpretations.

Keywords:   Power, identity, agency, bonding, Meredith Underwood, Hashimoto Yayoi, Ueno Chizuko

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