Family planning (re)defined: how young Nepalese women understand and negotiate contraceptive choices

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The dominant framework of health communication constitutes family planning under the framework of Third World pathology, writing over the bodies of women of the Third with a script of modernity. This manuscript engages the culture-centered approach to co-construct the narratives of young Nepalese women living under poverty, seeking to create entry points for cultural voices that have been rendered silent in mainstream health communication discourses. Through narratives situated at the intersections of structure, culture, and agency, we explore the meaning-making processes through which women negotiate family and societal expectations to make decisions about family planning, constituted in the midst of competing tensions. Semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted to explore how women understand and construct contraceptive choices within their local contexts, offering insights for understanding how the experiences of marginalized participants create opportunities for exploring the social shaping of meanings of health. Narratives offer spaces for understanding how women conceptualize family planning and, in turn, how they negotiate these meanings to enact their health behaviors.

Keywords: culture-centered approach; family planning/contraception; narratives; reproductive health; women's health

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Communications and New Media Programme,National University of Singapore, Singapore 2: Communication,Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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