Infertility is an important topic to bring forth, since it elicits multiple themes and cultural values having to do with the taken for granted life path, with gender roles and definitions of femininity and masculinity, as well as moral and legal issues. I am convinced that breaking the silence surrounding infertility experiences in Bulgaria is necessary. The lack of discourse on incapability to have a child is a very substantial moral problem in Bulgaria.
I focused my attention on the personal stories of women who have suffered or are suffering from infertility in Bulgaria over the past decade with the purpose to identify the social construction of infertility in the national context. Putting the accent on two different discourses (bioethical and gender) based on personal experience, I considered infertility in the social frame of the application of in vitro methods in Bulgaria. I focused on the way in which culturally available discourses of the expected transition to motherhood and femininity plaid out in women’s live narratives.
I followed the interpretations of the social situation that held for these women, and the ways in which they creatively appropriated, transformed, and resisted culturally available meanings in the process of constructing their personal narratives and identities.
I carried out a detailed linguistic analysis of the communication situations, conversation strategies, thematic sets, narration schemes, and extra-linguistic factors to reveal the differences in the “similarity” of perceiving, experiencing and talking about infertility.