“I want to become someone!” Gender, Reproduction and the Moral Career of Motherhood for Women with Sickle Cell Disorders

Abstract

In Sierra Leone, motherhood is being transformed into a moral career for women with sickle cell disorders. This qualitative participatory study, conducted in 2018, involved thirty-six semi-structured interviews with female care-givers and women with sickle cell disorders. Mothers argued that medical models of disease, combined with caring practices, are means to morally manage ideas of ‘spoiled identity’ and rethink the sick role, disability and life-outcomes of a potentially serious condition. Mothers encourage their children with sickle cell to stay in education as a route to access formal employment and careers that will not tax their bodies and ensure reproductive timing. Education and employment are framed temporally to ensure a delay so that girls can develop caring relationships and access motherhood safely. Understanding and encouraging the development of motherhood as a moral career, involving embodied hyper-vigilant caring practices, is valuable for the self-identity of mothers, allowing them to see a future for themselves and their children.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

Sierra Leone, Women, Motherhood, Reproduction, children

Citation

Berghs, M., Dyson, S.M., Gabba, A., Nyandemo, S. Roberts, G., Deen, G. and Thomas, I. (2022) “I want to become someone!” Gender, Reproduction and the Moral Career of Motherhood for Women with Sickle Cell Disorders. Culture, Health and Sexuality,

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care