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Reproductive Sociology Research Group

Tianqi Huang

Tianqi HuangAfter completing my BA at Huazhong University of Science and technology in mainland China, I joined ReproSoc at Cambridge in 2017. It has been a privilege to be a member of ReproSoc and I feel constantly inspired by ReproSocks. Having completed my MPhil here, I am continuing my studies as a PhD candidate, funded by China Scholarship Council (CSC).

My PhD concentrates on the experiences of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) decision-making in the Chinese context. I conduct my research under the supervision of Professor Sarah Franklin and Dr Marcin Smietana. IVF could be regarded as an index of the intersectional factors in the situated contexts of ambivalent decision-making. Through the lens of IVF negotiation, I aim to explore the perceptions of reproduction, family, kinship, and gender; to examine the relationships between traditional and modern values and further delineate the individualization process in the domain of reproduction; and to unpack the impact of the population policy on reproductive understandings and behaviour. The goal of my study is to use the reasoning and conversations around this complicated IVF choice as a lens to understand the reconfiguration of ‘modern families’ – and indeed modernity -- in China.

Amarpreet Kaur

Amarpreet KaurI graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a high first class BA (Hons) in Sociology and was awarded a Programme Leader's Prize for Outstanding Achievement in July 2016.  During my undergraduate studies I was involved in several extra-curricular projects surrounding student engagement, and mental health.I came to Cambridge in October 2016 to start my MPhil in Sociology of Reproduction – the only institution in the world offering the course, and was awarded a Newton-College Masters Studentship with Murray Edwards college to do my research. In continuation from my MPhil, I progressed on to the PhD programme and I am now at Christ’s college where I am consistently extended incredible opportunities to develop my academic skills and network with professionals and researchers from a range of related disciplines.

My PhD is currently titled ‘An exploration into the potential reproductive future with genetic editing in the United Kingdom’, under the supervision of Professor Sarah Franklin. My research focuses on attitudes towards germline genome editing as a reproductive choice in relation to disease and disability in the UK, and continues to reveal intriguing insights. ReproSoc are very much my academic family and my constant joy in Cambridge, and continue to shape my professional development in every way.

Aideen O'Shaughnessy

Aideen O'ShaughnessyAfter completing my B.A. in French and Sociology at Trinity College Dublin in 2015, I moved to the Netherlands where I completed an M.A. (Research) in Gender Studies at Utrecht University in 2017. Searching for PhD opportunities, it was important to me to find myself in a research environment which was open and encouraging of interdiscplinarity and creative methodologies and where I could truly begin to broaden and deepen my expertise in my chosen research area, which is the sociology of reproduction. That said, I felt strongly that ReproSoc would be the right place for me to pursue my PhD project and joined the group in October 2018. 

Under the supervision of Professor Sarah Franklin and Dr. Lucy Van De Wiel, my research draws primarily from the feminist phenomenological tradition to examine the embodied experience of pregnancy and reproduction in Ireland following the repeal of the 8th amendment and the introduction of abortion rights in 2018. Using narrative interview methods, I work with feminist reproductive justice activists to locate alternative ontologies of embodiment and embodied reproduction. My research aims to critically re-engage, specifically, with the concepts of 'lived experience', bodily feeling/knowledge and the temporality of (reproductive) embodiment. My wider research interests within the sociology of reproduction include the medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth as well as maternal and reproductive health. I am also interested, more broadly, in queer theory, postcolonial theory and feminist epistemologies and methodologies.

Outside of my PhD research, I continue to be involved in reproductive rights activism and advocacy, primarily in the Irish context.