University of Illinois at Chicago
DANIEL-PRIMARY-2024.pdf (2.95 MB)

Articulating Liberation: The Reproductive Justice Fight Against Biopolitical State Violence

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posted on 2024-05-01, 00:00 authored by Meghan Daniel
This study explores the historical and contemporary connections between reproductive justice and anti-state violence organizing and social movements. Rather than focusing on moments of overlap between distinct social movements, I argue that working towards reproductive justice necessarily works against state violence. I utilize three years of ethnographic, archival, and interview-based data to demonstrate how reproductive justice theory, framing, and praxis are connected to eradicating state violence. Chapter 1 introduces readers to the landscape of social movements for reproductive health, rights, and justice and a brief history of organizing to better contextualize the project that follows in this document. It also showcases the qualitative methods and data analysis employed in this project. Chapter 2 sketches a brief history of eugenic reproductive control before utilizing archival data to illuminate more contemporary manifestations of this biopolitical violence. I demonstrate how reproductive justice theory, framing, and organizing is uniquely situated to resist biopolitical control. In Chapter 3, I ground my analysis in the words and experiences of organizers and activists to examine art as an important avenue for connecting movements for reproductive justice and against state violence. I examine artwork as a pedagogy of connection along three distinct types of social movement tactics, and demonstrate how race, gender, and sexuality are focal points in the intersections of art and organizing. Chapter 4 examines how organizing work affects the emotions and embodied experiences of activists and organizers themselves. I demonstrate linkages between social structures of race, gender, and sexuality; emotions and feelings; and the body. I then elucidate how these linkages inform the creation of collectives based in corporeal feeling and eventually transform social movement strategy. To conclude, Chapter 5 reviews the analyses and findings presented in this study and offers conclusions, reflections on limitations, implications for the field of sociology and outside of academia, and directions for future research.



Claire L. Decoteau



Degree Grantor

University of Illinois Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

L o r e n a G a r c i a ; A t e f S a i d ; C e d r i c d e L e o n ; Z a k i y a L u n a

Thesis type



  • en

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