Research: IVF survivorship, IVF memoirs and reproductive activism
Three IVF memoirs provide the basis for new analysis and scrutiny surrounding the IVF consumer journey experiences and ‘IVF survivorship’
Jennifer Takhar, Associate Professor of Marketing and Communication at ISG Business School and a research affiliate at the Linguistic and International Resources Center at the Graduate School of Communication and Journalism (CELSA) of the Sorbonne University has written on IVF marketing. Her research interests lie in Consumer Culture, digital identity politics, transhumanisms, biotechnologies, innovative research methods and articulating marketing dynamics.
Meanwhile, Takhar’s latest work, IVF survivorship, the IVF memoir and reproductive activism, looks at IVF memoirs written by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos, Miriam Zoll and Jessica Hepburn. She asks what can be gleaned through memoir, a literary genre. She demonstrates how IVF memoirs, an overlooked genre of ‘life writing’, has much to teach marketing scholars about unpredictable consumption trajectories, consumer self-transformation and embodied health activism.
Importantly, Takhar writes:
“Survivorship in a context of infertility and IVF treatment implies, certainly within the three memoirs that are being assessed, the shifting sands of a vast infertility industrial complex, cross-examining doctors’ expert opinions, the carrying of a burden, a loss of control, an alteration of being, and very often a chronic experience that has marked the body either producing a successful, live birth or not.”
“Patient narratives of treatments recounted in IVF memoirs tell a more nuanced and complete story of cruel optimism that need to be recognised and analysed by marketing scholars as vital sources of lived consumer experiences in high-risk, low outcome ART contexts. The three memoirs assessed here offer first-person accounts of human resilience and persistence.”
- are understudied literary sources of embodied health activism in the context of the consumption and marketing of assisted reproductive technologies;
- reveal the creative diversity of ART consumers’ expression and their chronic, ‘consumer identity projects’, which warrant more critical attention from the marketing field.
The full article is available in the Journal of Marketing Management.