Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Expressivist objections to prenatal screening and testing: perceptions of people living with disability

Boardman, Felicity and Thomas, Gareth ORCID: 2023. Expressivist objections to prenatal screening and testing: perceptions of people living with disability. Sociology of Health & Illness 45 (6) , pp. 1223-1241. 10.1111/1467-9566.13559

[thumbnail of Sociology Health   Illness - 2022 - Boardman - Expressivist objections to prenatal screening and testing  Perceptions of.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (230kB) | Preview


The ‘expressivist objection’ (EO) refers to the notion that using reproductive (genetic) technologies to prevent the births of future would-be disabled people contain, and express, a negative valuation of living with disability. Whilst the EO has received increased attention in recent years in line with rapid technological and genomic developments, there remains scant research on how EO concerns are experienced by disabled people and their families, and especially within and between impairment groups. Bringing together two studies – one with adults and family members living with genetic conditions (n=62), and one with parents of children with Down’s syndrome (n=22) – we argue that disabled people and their families variously embrace, reject, or rework the EO across contexts, and yet also frequently situate it within broad support for reproductive technologies. We present three key factors that mediate responses to the EO: 1) the nature of impairment and its integration within identity politics; 2) social and cultural contexts relating to disability; 3) the (individual and collective) imagined futures of disabled people. In so doing, we blend the conceptual architecture of medical sociology and disability studies, arguing that this allows us to accurately illuminate the nuanced responses of disabled people and their families.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0141-9889
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 2 September 2022
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2023 17:53

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics