Bound together by Fate and Faith. A Qualitative Analysis of Online Discussions on Assisted Reproduction in Hungary

Zsófia Bauer
As having children is considered an inherent and accepted stage in family development, the inability to procreate can be considered as a crisis on both a family and an individual level. Receiving infertility treatment is also a life event that may result in significant emotional distress, thus it is equally imperative to concentrate not only on how patients experience their own involuntary childlessness, but how they perceive their successful or unsuccessful treatments. This paper investigates
more » ... he everyday life experiences of infertile women who have decided to seek medical treatments which employ assisted reproductive technologies, based on a systematic and in-depth qualitative analysis of topic related on-line discussion group messages. Central focus is on how the participants make sense of their conditions and treatments, what questions they find worthy of discussing and how they communicate among their own internet community. The research investigated the constructions, tones, themes, portrayed topics and problems of the individual contributors, whilst not neglecting the dynamics of the online group. This unique research design permitted studying the discourse of the participants in a natural, non-controlled environment, where the presence of the researcher had no influence on the results. Main findings suggest the analyzed texts hold a combination of a 'rhetoric of sorrow' portraying disappointment, and a 'rhetoric of hope', latter vocalizing their belief in the technological advancement and their unquestionable and altruistic support of one another.