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Multiple sociological studies have demonstrated how talk of ‘good’ motives enables people to maintain the presentation of a moral self in the context of stigmatised behaviours. Far fewer have examined why people sometimes describe acting for the ‘wrong reasons’ or choose to qualify, or reject, assumptions that they are motivated by a desire to ‘do good’. In this article, I analyse one such situation: sperm donors who describe being partially motivated by a ‘selfish’ desire to procreate, a motive which these same men frame as morally questionable. I argue that such accounts are explicable if we consider the (gendered) interactional and cultural contexts in which they are produced, particularly the way interactive contexts shape the desirability and achievability of plausibility and authenticity. I suggest that analysis of similar social phenomena can support sociologists in better understanding the complex ways in which moral practices are woven into social interactions.
- gamete donation
- moral account
- vocabulary of motive
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'The ‘Selfish Element’: How Sperm and Egg Donors Construct Plausibly Moral Accounts of the Decision to Donate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Finished
Curious Connections: The Impact of Donating Egg and Sperm on Donors' Everyday Life and Relationships
1/01/17 → 30/10/20