The complex and contradictory emotional path to parenthood

Paula A. Michaels, Renata Kokanovic

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Human reproduction is a biosocial experience. The path to parenthood cannot be traversed independent of the social, cultural, economic, and legal context in which it takes places. Those structures condition gender roles that find expression in courtship, marriage, family life, and work. The last century has witnessed imbricated social and technological changes that have given rise to unprecedented possibilities and unforeseen tensions. This chapter sets the stage for Path to Parenthood’s exploration of the complex and contradictory emotions that women and men weather on the journey through pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenthood. The chapter explains the narrative study that forms the foundation of each chapter’s analysis, the scholarly literature within which they sit, how they are organised, and what this book’s unique contributions are.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPaths to Parenthood
Subtitle of host publicationEmotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenting Experiences
EditorsRenata Kokanovic, Paula A. Michaels, Kate Johnston-Ataata
Place of PublicationGateway East Singapore
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789811301438
ISBN (Print)9789811301421
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2018


  • Motherhood
  • fatherhood
  • Parenthood

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