Open issue

Open issue

The first issue in 2019 is an open issue with research that challenges how we normally understand the body, health issues and the concept of the family. Read about fat studies, an emerging new field of research, Italian mothers who have emigrated to Norway, and how single mothers by choice define their family.

 

Fat studies – a growing field

By Camilla Bruun Eriksen

The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to the growing academic field of fat studies by reviewing a handful of the developments and discussions that have helped shape the emerging academic field, establishing it in opposition to traditional biomedical «obesity research». While the article is in no way exhaustive, it can hopefully serve as an introduction and a helping hand in terms of locating additional literature for the interested reader. In addition to this, the article states and discusses three theoretical influences that have been particularly important for this emerging field of research (feminist-, queer- and critical disability theory).

Keywords: Fat studies, fat subjectivity, feminist theory, queer theory, critical disability theory, biomedicine


Mobile gender egalitarian actors: From ‘frozen’ to ‘chosen’ gender equality

Italian women’s comparative experiences related to work and family in Italy and Norway

By Lise Widding Isaksen

This article discusses how highly educated Italian women use, experience and adjust to welfare services related to family and work in Norway. After the financial crisis hit Italy in 2008, the numbers of young, well-educated Italians leaving the country increased. Many of them settled in Norway. This mobility among highly skilled people has some interesting social meanings and expectations about meritocracy and gender equality. How young Italians use and combine different interactions between local welfare structures and policies on the one side with everyday practices on the other side, is therefore relevant and interesting to explore. Based on a small selection of young Italian mothers living in Norway, the article discusses their adjustments to gender equality-oriented welfare services and the social meanings actors attach to the use of the services. The aim of the article is to explore how Italian migrants compare, challenge and combine childcare practices in Norway and Italy.

Keywords: Gender equality, welfare state, migration, Italian familism, financial crisis, childcare, Italy, Norway


‘Because the sperm donor will never become the daddy’

How single mothers by choice define their family

By Monica Bjerklund

How do single mothers by choice define their family? This question is explored by letting 33 single mothers with donor-conceived children answer an electronic questionnaire. The mothers wrote down what they wanted the kindergarten to call the sperm donor, and why they would like that designation used. The electronic questionnaire was presented to the mothers in a closed internet forum. Almost all the mothers wanted the kindergarten to use the term donor when talking about the sperm donor. These women defined their families differently from the traditional family (mother-father-child) by underlining that the donor did not have any role as a father in the children’s day-to-day life. Fathering was considered more important than the child’s genetic origin, and therefore the mothers did not want to call the sperm donor the daddy.

Keywords: Single mothers by choice, donor-conceived children, kindergarten, donor, father