Cristina Archetti started researching childlessness after being diagnosed with "unexplained infertility". She soon discovered that, although involuntary childlessness affects an increasing number of women and men across the world, this topic is shrouded taboo and shame. This book is both a first-person reflection about the existential questions posed by involuntary childlessness and a readable account of the way the silence surrounding this topic is socially and politically constructed.

Revealing the invisible mechanisms that, from the microscopic details of everyday life to policy, make up the structure of silence around childlessness, Archetti demonstrates what it means not to have children in a society that is organized around families. Through a prose that mixes analysis, excerpts of interviews, media fragments, and evocative writing, she develops a new language of feeling-in-the-body fit for the twenty-first century and exposes the devastating effects infertility has on relationships, identity, health and well-being, in societies that fetishize parenthood.

Childlessness in the Age of Communication draws upon a range of disciplines and fields including sociology, health, gender and sexuality studies, communication, politics and anthropology. It is a book for all those interested in childlessness and innovative qualitative research methodologies.

The Open Access version of this book, available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.

chapter |24 pages


Breaking the silence
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part I|76 pages

Unravelling silence

chapter |4 pages

Of silence and invisibility

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chapter Section 1|17 pages

T-word: the story behind my story

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chapter Section 2|12 pages

The body and communication

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chapter Section 3|19 pages

What my story brings to the debate

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chapter Section 4|17 pages

Silence, deconstructed

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part II|150 pages

Life journeys

chapter Folder 1|18 pages

“About me”?

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chapter Folder 2|17 pages


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chapter Folder 3|20 pages


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chapter Folder 4|18 pages

Objects and the body

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chapter Folder 5|27 pages

Media, social wallpaper, and the cycle of silence

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chapter Folder 6|11 pages

Narratives I: an old story begins to fall apart

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chapter Folder 7|14 pages

Politics: or why childlessness is everyone's business

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chapter Folder 8|19 pages

Narratives II: what it takes to weave a new story

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Roadmap for the foreseeable futures
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