cover of book

Childfree across the Disciplines: Academic and Activist Perspectives on Not Choosing Children
edited by Davinia Thornley
contributions by Natalia Cherjovsky, Rhonny Dam, Laura S. Scott, Erika M. Arias, Laurie Lisle, Anna Gotlib, Davinia Thornley, Berenice Fisher, Melanie Brewster, Olivia Snow, Adi Avivi, Amanda Michiko Shigihara, Christopher Clausen and Laura Carroll
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Paper: 978-1-9788-2308-2 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-2312-9 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-2309-9
Library of Congress Classification HQ755.8.C4485 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 306.87


Recently, childfree people have been foregrounded in mainstream media. More than seven percent of Western women choose to remain childfree and this figure is increasing. Being childfree challenges the ‘procreation imperative’ residing at the center of our hetero-normative understandings, occupying an uneasy position in relation to—simultaneously—traditional academic ideologies and prevalent social norms. After all, as Adi Avivi recognizes, "if a woman is not a mother, the patriarchal social order is in danger." This collection engages with these (mis)perceptions about childfree people: in media representations, demographics, historical documents, and both psychological and philosophical models. Foundational pieces from established experts on the childfree choice--Rhonny Dam, Laurie Lisle, Christopher Clausen, and Berenice Fisher--appear alongside both activist manifestos and original scholarly work, comprehensively brought together. Academics and activists in various disciplines and movements also riff on the childfree life: its implications, its challenges, its conversations, and its agency—all in relation to its inevitability in the 21st century. Childfree across the Disciplines unequivocally takes a stance supporting the subversive potential of the childfree choice, allowing readers to understand childfreedom as a sense of continuing potential in who—or what—a person can become.

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