Navigation Links
Pursuing parenthood: Discourses of persistence

People harbor many cherished goals that may prove elusive even with the aid of market offerings, such as pursuit of an ideal of beauty or fame. Despite repeated setbacks, some individuals persist in their efforts, often making extraordinary investments of time, emotion, and money. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research furthers our understanding of such persistent goal striving in cases where the chances of success are low and the costs of continued efforts are high by investigating a particular context: peoples repeated efforts to achieve parenthood, especially through the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs).

This paper may be of value to people who find themselves repeatedly trying to achieve an elusive goal: it may help them gain insight into factors that influence how they try to reach their goals and whether they maintain them, write Eileen Fischer (York University, Ontario), Cele C. Otnes (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), and Linda Tuncay (Loyola University). Given the emotional and financial tolls exacted in these contexts, it is appropriate and important that consumer scholars turn their attention to persistence.

Goal-related research has explored the cognitive processes that take place as people appraise tactics for achieving goals, make plans, and decide whether to try again in the face of failure. This study complements prior work by exploring how discourses or, culturally engrained systems of ideas influence persistent goal striving. The researchers identify both goal specific and culturally pervasive discourses that influence how people appraise means of trying, the extent to which they plan their efforts, and their likelihood of persisting or abandoning a goal.

After conducting numerous one-on-one interviews with men and women involved with ARTs, the researchers identify three major culturally pervasive discourses that not only influence the goal of having a child, but also influence what kinds of trade-offs people might consider when they fail to conceive after using a particular ART or when they do not carry a child to term:

  • Scientific rationalism: We may turn the ordeal into a scientific formula, seeking to suppress all emotion and following the procedures recommended by an expert.
  • Self-management: We may take the opportunity to claim control over our own lives, proceeding with self-selected options chosen both through instinct and scientific probability.
  • Fatalism: We may take the attitude that our fate is in the hands of a higher power. Fatalism may help consumers rationalize abandoning persistence, but it may also lead to unexpected epiphanies and new bouts of effort.

Given the importance of parenthood in many consumers lives, we argue that when consumers begin their attempts to become parents, they may not even have to consider which dimensions of parenthood they would value over others, if creating their families proves easy for them, the authors explain. But when consumers encounter obstacles to becoming parents, they may have to make conscious and painful tradeoffs between cherished dimensions, sacrificing some in order to privilege others.

They continue: From a theoretical point of view, the paper reminds researchers studying goal striving that they need to be sensitized to the broader cultural ideas that can influence cognitive processes and behavioral patterns of persistence in any given context.


Contact: Suzanne Wu
University of Chicago Press Journals

Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice ... overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, ... a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated ... has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure ... doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law ... magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are ... , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the ... Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families ... to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., ... developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it was ... Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief ... shareholder awareness of our progress in developing drugs for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Any dentist who has made an implant ... process. Many of them do not even offer this as ... high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to ... a high cost that the majority of today,s patients would ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Capricor ... ), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, ... that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne ... exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects ... third quarter of 2016, and to report top ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: