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Accepted Paper:

Post-cancer reproductive autonomy as "self-reconstruction" threshold in question  
Manon Vialle (Aix-Marseille University)

Paper short abstract:

Fertility preservation as part of cancer treatment is a practice struggling to spread in France. The aim will be to analyse the plurality of medical discourses and practices around this situation, their receptions and their impacts on post-cancer experiences.

Paper long abstract:

Based on qualitative research by interviewing French men and women who had cancer when they were "adolescents or young adults" (13-30 years old), I studied the effects of cancer and/or its treatments, in particular on fertility. I questioned the experiences of its preservation - natural or via gamete cryoconservation - after cancer. The purpose of this communication will be to question the representations of post-cancer kinship as a social event considered as "necessary" or "anecdotal" in the quest for "self-reconstruction" expected by relatives, doctors, as well as people directly concerned. These elements will be questioned at the intersection of age and gender issues. What are the specificities in the medical discourses and representations of the fact that they are "young" men or women without children?

We will see that the question of post-cancer kinship access is apprehended and experienced in a plural way. Some respondents deplore the lack of consideration from oncologists of the importance of this possibility and the role it plays in distancing the disease experience. Others, do not link the "experience of kinship" and the "healing process", find it difficult to live with the medical and widely social injunction to this "necessary self-reconstruction". We will see that all social norms are questioned by these post-cancer experiences, reconfiguring the thresholds and categories of "illness" and "normality".

Panel P161
Rethinking margins through personhood
  Session 1 Wednesday 22 July, 2020, -