"The most dangerous place" : race, neoliberalism, and anti-abortion discourses


"The most dangerous place" : race, neoliberalism, and anti-abortion discourses

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Title: "The most dangerous place" : race, neoliberalism, and anti-abortion discourses
Author: Briggs, Katherine Charek
Abstract: Crisis pregnancy center advertisements like billboards that ask whether a downcast woman of color is "Pregnant? Scared?" appear to be a locus of the overlapping factors of United States racial politics, bodily control, and a neoliberal sensibility. In order to investigate these relationships, I situate analyses of anti-abortion media products alongside current U.S. political discourses. What is the relationship between the elements of racism and bodily control in CPC visual rhetoric and growing neoliberal culture? This project brings these factors into a dialogue by analyzing the anti-abortion rhetoric shaped by CPC organizations and the white U.S. mainstream. As I discuss in Chapter One, anti-abortion organizations target specific communities and use large-scale media advertising to retain disproportionate control over the image of abortion in the U.S. cultural imaginary. The second chapter details how that imaginary and the current political situation overlap in immigration, population, and border panic that reduces Latinas to sexualized stereotypes. In Chapter Three, I report on the U.S. medical and political systems' shameful oppression of black women's reproductive freedom in order to situate the advertising rhetoric of three more anti-abortion organizations. The discourses these groups perpetrate are all reflected in the moral individualism of a growing neoliberal social politic. In sum, anti-abortion organizations use neoliberal rhetoric and racialized advertising to perpetuate destructive discourses of what it means to be a person of color in reproductive crisis. These discourses approach race with entrenched stereotypes, paternalistic moralizing, and euphemistic concern for low-income people of color. A critical feminist lens helps draw serious attention to dangerous patterns in anti-abortion rhetoric and the politics of race and reproductive justice.
Department: Women's and Gender Studies Information
Subject: Abortion Anti-abortion movement Pro-life movement Crisis pregnancy centers Neoliberalism Racism Billboards Critical discourse analysis
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2012-05-5666
Date: 2012-05

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