Speaking of Abortion: Television and Authority in the Lives of Women

Overview

Over four years, Andrea Press and Elizabeth Cole watched television with women, visiting city houses, suburban subdivisions, modern condominiums, and public housing projects. They found that television depicts abortion as a problem for the poor and the working classes, and that viewers invariably referred to class when discussing abortion. Pro-life women from various classes were unified in their rejection of materialist values. This group strongly believed that a reduced family income was worth the sacrifice in ...
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Overview

Over four years, Andrea Press and Elizabeth Cole watched television with women, visiting city houses, suburban subdivisions, modern condominiums, and public housing projects. They found that television depicts abortion as a problem for the poor and the working classes, and that viewers invariably referred to class when discussing abortion. Pro-life women from various classes were unified in their rejection of materialist values. This group strongly believed that a reduced family income was worth the sacrifice in order to stay home with children. Pro-life women also shared a general suspicion of the media as a source of information, turning instead to their understanding of science to validate their biblically derived worldview. Pro-choice women's beliefs, however, were divided along class lines. Working-class women defended choice because they viewed themselves as a group whose interests are continually threatened by legal authorities. In contrast, middle-class women argued for individual rights and thought abortion necessary for those who aren't financially ready. Many middle-class pro-choice women, the authors argue, share the same point of view as displayed on television.
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Editorial Reviews

First Things
...anyone interested in how modern women view abortion and who perseveres in reading Speaking of Abortion will be richly rewarded...this book offers substantive insights into the abortion debate in America. In fact, for pro
—lifers interested in understanding women of different socioeconomic backgrounds, it should be required reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226680316
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Morality and Society Series Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 202
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Speaking of Abortion 1
2 The Classed Discourse of Abortion on Prime-Time Television 25
3 Reconciling Faith and Fact: The Pro-Life Perspective 41
4 Situating Self and Social Authority: Working-Class Pro-Choice Positions 68
5 The Shifting Context of Justification for Choice Among the Middle Class 101
6 Another American Dilemma: Locating Abortion on the Political Landscape 125
App. A The Ethnographic Focus Group 143
App. B Characteristics of the Groups 157
Notes 164
References 173
Index 193
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