Unsettling maternal futures in climate crisis: Towards cohabitability

Mary Holmes, Kristin Natalier, Carla Pascoe Leahy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In this article, we explore the emotionally reflexive processes by which some women build maternal futures in the unsettling context of climate change, aiming to contribute to a better understanding of reproductive (and other) future building as aided by emotions. We analyse the online testimonies of an organisation that raises awareness about the interrelationship between climate change and reproductive decision making. The findings illustrate how women’s consideration of possible futures is relational, guided by their feelings and what they know or imagine to be the feelings of their families, the wider society and future generations. This is important for interrogating how climate change might unsettle dominant maternal and familial practices but extend understandings of connection. We position cohabitability as a possible foundation for reproductive decision making but find this possibility unfulfilled. Rather, maternal future building more commonly reinforces individualised and gendered responsibility for the planet’s future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-373
Number of pages17
JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
Issue number3
Early online date7 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • climate change
  • cohabitability
  • families
  • motherhood
  • emotional reflexivity


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