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Fertile Debates: A Comparative Account of Low Fertility in the British and Greek National Press

  • Katerina Georgiadis
Article

Abstract

This article compares how the British and Greek national press debated the phenomenon of low fertility between 2001 and 2009. Specifically, it presents an overview of each set of newspapers’ perspectives on the issue, and the most prevalent causes, consequences and solutions with which they associated it. Differences between the print media’s representations are not only attributed to the distinct ‘policy climate’ and ‘demographic experience’ of each country but also to culturally specific ideologies concerning the nation, gender, motherhood and personhood. Newspapers do not simply mirror reality but also help to construct it by legitimising dominant discourses about how persons, especially women, ought to manage their fertility. Studying the media is, therefore, a means of understanding the broader contexts in which individuals’ reproductive lives are shaped and experienced.

Keywords

Fertility Greece United Kingdom Media Newspaper Anthropology 

Des débats féconds: analyse comparative de la prise en compte des faibles fécondités dans les presses nationales britannique et grecque

Résumé

Cet article compare les modalités selon lesquelles les presses nationales britannique et grecque ont débattu du phénomène de faible fécondité au cours de la période 2001–2009. Plus précisément, il donne une vue d’ensemble des opinions d’une série de journaux sur les causes, les conséquences et les solutions les plus fréquemment décrites associées à ce phénomène. Les différences de représentations dans les presses écrites ne sont pas seulement attribuées au « climat politique » et à « l’expérience démographique » propres à chaque pays mais aussi aux idéologies spécifiques et culturellement construites relatives à la nation, au genre, à la maternité et à l’individu. Les journaux ne reflètent pas seulement la réalité, ils aident également à la construire en légitimant les discours dominants relatifs à la manière dont les individus, et spécialement les femmes, devraient gérer leurs vies reproductives. Analyser le contenu des medias est un outil permettant de comprendre les contextes plus vastes dans lesquels les vies reproductives des individus sont façonnées et vécues.

Mots-clés

Fécondité Grèce Royaume Uni Medias Journaux Anthropologie 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to acknowledge the support of the Economic and Social Research Council for providing me with the funding to carry out the research on which this article is based. I want to thank Dr. Ernestina Coast for her guidance, as well as Dr. Sara Randall and Professor Nanneke Redclift for theirs, on earlier versions of this article. I am also grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback, as well as to Professor Charles Hirschman and Professor Mary C. Brinton for their input during the presentation of a synopsis of this article at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America in Dallas, Texas. Finally, thanks to Nick Paleocrassas for his role in editing the final draft.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social PolicyLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK

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