Prioritising Or Postponing?” Thematic Analysis Of Reproductive And Motherhood Choices Among Educated Indian Married Women

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Smita Gupta , Namita S Malik


This paper attempts to understand and explains the intersection of reproductive and motherhood choices among educated working and non-working married women in India. The choices women pick in realm of sociological, cultural and religious controls have been largely silenced in literature.

This phenomenological study looks into lives of 20 married educated Indian women and their reproductive and motherhood choices.  With the help of semi-structured questionnaire, 20 women, predominantly educated middle class women, have been interviewed. A thematic analysis using a grounded approach has been used to analyse the qualitative data obtained from these 20 women.  Two dominant themes emerged in the systematic qualitative review. Among educated working women, voices of career goals, self-accomplishments, and career promotions were the major theme manifested while exercising their reproduction choice. On the other hand, theme emerged among educated non-working mothers were enhancement in social influence, stability and social pressure. Study revealed the stress and social tensions embedded in exercising reproductive choice con-joined with family influences, economic priorities, career and biological clock urge.

The study further describes how increase in technological advancements and modernism has not affected largely sphere of women reproductive choices and changed social perception of motherhood; rather complicated dilemmas for her.

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