Collective, unruly, and becoming
Bodies in and through TTC communication
Keywords:TTC communication, Instagram, material-discursive practices, involuntary childlessness
Online contexts offer an important source of information and emotional support for those facing involuntary childlessness. This article reports the results from an ethnographic exploration of TTC (trying-to-conceive) communication on Instagram. Through a new materialist approach that pays attention to the web of intraacting agencies in online communication, this article explores the question of what material-discursive bodies (constructs of embodiment and medical information) emerge in TTC communication as the result of shared images and narratives of bodies, symptoms, fertility treatments, and reproductive technologies. Drawing on a lengthy ethnographic immersion, observations of 394 Instagram accounts, and the close analysis of 100 posts, the study found that TTC communication produces collective, unruly, and becoming bodies. Collective bodies reflect collectively acquired, solidified, and contested medical knowledge and bodies produced in TTC communication. Unruly bodies are bodies that do not conform to standard medical narratives. Becoming bodies are marked by their shifting agency, such as pregnant or fetal bodies.
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