Economic Security and the Social Science Literature on Teenage Pregnancy in South Africa

Macleod, C. (2002) Economic Security and the Social Science Literature on Teenage Pregnancy in South Africa. Gender and Society, 16 (5). pp. 647-664. ISSN 1552-3977 (online); 0891-2432



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Feminists have argued that the association made between teenage childbearing and long-term lower socioeconomic status hides a multitude of socially constructed inequalities. I extend this position by analysing how the association is linked in the South African literature on teenage pregnancy to economic security. I utilise Foucault’s conceptualization of the method of security. Security refers to institutions and practices that defend and maintain a national population as well as secure the economic, demographic, and social processes of that population. I analyse how the traits of the method of security are deployed with regard to teenage pregnancy; how reproductive adolescents are viewed as disrupting the production of the economic self and fracturing population control, thereby threatening economic security; and how the invocation of economic security allows for the legitimation of various regulatory practices.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Catriona Macleod is the Head of the Department of Psychology at Rhodes University in South Africa. She completed her Ph.D. on teenage pregnancy in South Africa and has published articles based on this in a number of international journals, including Feminism and Psychology. She would like to thank Professor Kevin Durrheim for his comments on an earlier version of this article as well as the Johan Jacobs Foundation for financial assistance.
Uncontrolled Keywords:teenage pregnancy; socio-economic status; South Africa; Foucault; economic security
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Psychology
ID Code:608
Deposited By: tracy morison
Deposited On:29 Jun 2007
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:18
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