Beyond the making of altruism: branding and identity in egg donation websites in Spain

Anna Molas, Andrea Whittaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The availability of women willing to donate eggs in Spain is one of the cornerstones that has led the country to become the most desirable European destination for cross-border reproductive care. The reasons for this success are usually attributed to legal and socioeconomic conditions. Much less attention has been paid to the online strategies that fertility clinics in Spain use to inform and recruit young women to become egg providers. This paper addresses this gap by analysing online communication strategies in egg donors’ websites and social media. The narratives and rationalities they underpin are conceptualised as revealing ‘sociotechnical imaginaries’ around egg donation which coproduce new societal interests among young women. The results show that the language used recycles and repurposes egg donors’ motivations towards a normative discourse that puts altruism at the core, while, at the same time, explanations of medical processes and risks generate incomplete and misleading narratives. Finally, this paper describes how these discourses are embedded in a particular kind of branding where not only the notion of altruism is produced but also a complete identity framework. In this framework, donating eggs would not just be an act of solidarity, but would also imply belonging to a community of progressive empowered women, in control over their bodies and with modern consumption capacity: a neoliberal rationality of optimization, self-care and consumerism as forms of liberation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalBioSocieties
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Egg donation
  • Internet
  • IVF
  • Marketing
  • Sociotechnical imaginaries
  • Spain

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