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Ann V. Bell, MA, MHS, is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the sociology of reproduction, specifically stratified reproduction, by examining experiences of infertility among racially and economically diverse women. Ann recently published manuscripts highlighting the unique experiences of infertility among women of low socioeconomic status, particularly exploring the medicalized context in which infertility is situated (Gender & Society, 2009; Sociology of Health & Illness, 2010). In order to more systematically explore the influence of dominant understandings of reproduction on women’s infertility experiences, her dissertation expands that research by adding women of diverse class and race backgrounds for comparative purposes. Through sixty in-depth interviews, the dissertation exposes class and race differences in why women want to mother, experiences of living with infertility and women’s resolutions to infertility. Doing so allows for an intersectional analysis of how race and class influence the gendered process of infertility, revealing the ‘ailment’ as a social process rather than merely an embodied, objective medical experience.
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