ECU Libraries Catalog

Enduring shame : a recent history of unwed pregnancy and righteous reproduction / Heather Brook Adams.

Author/creator Adams, Heather Brook author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Columbia, South Carolina : University of South Carolina Press, [2022]
Descriptionxi, 239 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Abstract It was not long ago that unmarried pregnant women in the United States hid in maternity homes and relinquished their "illegitimate" children to "more deserving" two-parent families-all in the name of keeping secret shameful pregnancies. Although times and practices have changed, reproductive politics remain a fraught topic and site of injustice, especially for poor women and women of color. Enduring Shame explores two volatile decades in American history-the 1960s and '70s to trace how shame remained a dynamic and animating emotion in increasingly public interventions into unwed and teen pregnancy. Heather Brook Adams makes a case for recasting this era not as a time of gaining reproductive rights for all but rather as a moment when communicative practices of shame and blame cultivated new forms of injustice. Drawing from personal interviews, archival documents, legal decisions, public policy, journalism, memoirs, and advocacy writing, Adams articulates the rhetorical power of shame to explain how the American public was persuaded to think about reproduction, sexual righteousness, and unwed pregnancy during a time of presumed progress.-- Provided by publisher.
Abstract Despite the aspirational goals of reproductive liberation, public sentiment frequently upheld supremacist notions of whiteness that were based on ideas of racial, economic, and moral fitness-even as these sentiments informed new public policy. By centering evidence of shame as a communicated or threatening force, the book maps a range of experiences across these decades from women's experiences of hiding and "revirginalization" in homes for unwed mothers to policy and legal changes that are typically understood as proof of shame's dissipation. Adams explores evidence related to Title IX legislation, Roe v. Wade, and the unrelenting Hyde Amendment that has long restricted reproductive autonomy for poor (often non-white) women, and Congressional interventions of the late 1970s meant to curb an "epidemic" of "babies having babies." Rhetorical historiography and questions of reproductive justice guide the analysis and women's own voices provide essential perspectives and context for this recent history. This book recovers a misunderstood part of women's recent history by considering why reproductive politics remain so volatile given women's previous gains in this area and why shame continues to figure so centrally and powerfully in public discourse about limitations on women's reproductive and sexual freedoms.-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references (pages [215]-229) and index.
Issued in other formOnline version: Adams, Heather Brook. Enduring shame Columbia, South Carolina : University of South Carolina Press, 2022 9781643362953
LCCN 2021061596
ISBN9781643362939 hardcover
ISBN1643362933 hardcover
ISBN9781643362946 paperback
ISBN1643362941 paperback
ISBNelectronic book

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Joyner General Stacks HQ759.45 .A33 2022 ✔ Available Place Hold