a. Sociologists want to explain the controversy and understand it, rather than explain
one side of a moral argument. We’re looking at more than the reasons that the
people give, and seeking another way of understanding why this is such a deep
controversy. We want to observe the actual separate moral groups, and find their
place in society. We’re moving from logic and argument to history and society.
i. We want to know who these people are, what’s driving them and what’s
motivating them, and the social processes of how this argument came to
be, and developed over time. Who is persuaded by their arguments, and
ii. Motivations often drive people to defend their own beliefs, or arguments
using logic or rationality.
b. The reasons and arguments that people give may not be the whole story as to their
motivations and true intentions. These motivations can even be unconscious,
which can be uncovered by social and psychological perspectives of abortion as
an ethical public issue over time.
c. How do we relate sociological explanation to logical implementation?
i. Luker targeted activists in the pro-life pro-choice debate, and on the basis
of extensive interviewing, she develops an interpretation of where they’re
coming from, and how where they’re coming from differs. Right away,
this interpretation of what is driving these two groups tells us that a certain
common sense view of what you have now might be wrong. There’s
nothing these groups themselves have in common, other than the fact that
they agree on one conviction.
ii. Pro-ChoiceActivists and vice versa are unified by a lot more than their
positions, and go beyond pure individualism to uncover a
social/psychological levels of reality.
iii. Luker discovers that these two groups have different “worldviews” and
these are in part what drives the abortion controversy.
1. Defines “worldviews” as deep, fundamental, often unconscious
assumptions concerning gender, manhood, womanhood, and the
place of family, children, reproduction in defining masculinity,
femininity, etc, deep unconscious pillars of thought that provide a
foundation for conscious thought. They also motivate how people
liver their lives, and create their own life-choices. iv. Luker also observes the socioeconomic positions and roles of the two
arguing groups. E.g. class differences, income differences, possibly
specifics such as women in varying class, who differ in jobs, occupation,
where they fit in terms of college, professional degrees, etc.
d. One limit of her approach is that she is giving an explanation of the activists only.
e. What is the worldview that she discovers deeply within pro-life activists, the
i. Much of human life is not “chosen” by us, but rather determined by which
gender we were born as, whether we were born male or female, which
contrasts to the common assumption of the freedom to do whatever with
1. There are natural differences between men and women which
dictate an unnecessary division of social labor, role, emotion, and a
division of good equality between the sexes.
2. There is a natural, biologically determined, division of labor, social
role/responsibility, duty, emotion, virtues between the men and
3. Men, by nature, not by choice, not through socialization or culture
are more suited for the public world of paid work, competition,
power, political life, and military duty.
a. Men ought to be the main “bread winner” in the family, the
soldier, the politician.
4. Women are best suited to bear children, create homes and family,
and to love husband and children.
a. Motherhood, is thus women’s natural function or role, their
natural virtue to be a great wife/mother.
5. Life, in a way is gendered because the nature of womanhood and
manhood is different, adapting men and women to very different
lives and kinds of labor.
ii. In the 50-60’s most of the households consisted of families with a male
“bread-winner” who goes out into the economic marketplace, and earns a
wage sufficient for his entire family. (“Hearts of Men”, book) He also
points out that this view of the typical family was romanticized in
television. It was taken as the standard model of the family inAmerica.
This was known as the family-wage system. iii. The pro-life worldview seemed very natural and sensible, and seemed to
fit this standard model inAmerica, where they were told how to live by
the media, popular opinion, parents, etc… The family-wage system
actually embodied some of these deep assuming pillars in the pro-life
world view system.
1. There were many counter-culture responses in the form of playboy,
Elvis Presley, etc..
iv. With the assumptions of man, we automatically assume many things when
we wake up, such as how we dress, how we act, without even thinking
v. In the pro-life world, it was natural to assume that the pregnancy of the
girl was a wonderful blessing, in that it symbolized and revealed the
natural womanhood and femininity, regardless of the circumstances that
escalated to the situation. The fetus was seen as the symbol of the unborn
child and a person, a code for pregnancy, motherhood, and womanhood.
The nature of women as naturally adapted to a family encodes the fetus as
the natural, god-given symbol that that woman will become a mother.
vi. In essence, makes the assumption that women and men are inherently
different, and not simply in terms of biological and reproductive capacity,
but also in that women and men are suited or “fit” for very different roles
in society, different places in the division of labor. Women, by nature, are
destined to be home-makers, child-bearers, etc. Men, by nature, are
destined to be primarily suited for bread-winning, competing in economic
marketplace, earning a “family-wage”, political/military scheme.
vii. Why are they opposed to abortion, then?
1. Pregnancy and the fetus, under whatever circumstances, symbolize
womanhood and femininity, and allows the woman to fulfill her
“natural” destiny. Thus, abortion is unnatural, and insults the
concept of women because they are, by nature, characterized by
the child and the home.Abortion also distorts sex by separating sex
from its natural function of procreation, and thus is an invitation of
male/female irresponsibility by encouraging sex as a mere form of
pleasure, or sport.
2. Tend to be opposed to the state or government, trying to take over
the “parental role”, such as sex education, school lunches, day care
centers, etc. When they enter the natural family life, they distort
the natural process of the family, femininity, and masculinity. 3. Some believe that this moral process of raising a family correctly
has become a natural process, and now part of God’s work.
f. It seems that worldviews influence their socioeconomic aspects, and thus they
invest more in the world-view.
i. These families are composed of two career makers, the woman can also
invest some time into the economic market, and get a job, but their main
priority is still home-making. Pro-choice women have much more careers
and are earners, having advanced college degrees. They are invested in
careers to a significant amount. They may want a child at some point, but
they must find a balance between their career and their family, or their
socioeconomic status of being an independent woman with a career may
be at jeapordy.
ii. What are the “mommy wars? (LOOK IT UP)
1. Baby first, or career first?
2. Phyllis Shlafley (LOOK IT UP) was a conservative, and said that
the equal rights amendment would deprive women of