Social imaginaries, sperm and whiteness: Race and reproduction in British media

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Abstract

This article analyses narratives about so-called Viking babies and Viking sperm. Over the last few years an increasing number of British single women and lesbian couples have been creating families by becoming pregnant with Danish donor sperm, termed ‘Viking sperm’. Through analyses of British media coverage of these new families, this article explores contemporary constructions of race, especially whiteness, and gender, and shows how imaginaries of Vikings, genes and white superiority circulate in British media and among British mothers. The article illustrates how a racial discourse, which often is associated with nineteenth-century racial science, can surface in contemporary times. Yet the article also reveals how colonial and racial legacies of whiteness tend to be erased from narratives of fertility, as the (neoliberal) focus on the individual as consumer frames reproduction as individual (free) choices distant from a colonial past.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Volume38
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
ISSN0725-6868
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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