The Open UniversitySkip to content

Status passage, stigma and menstrual management: 'Starting' and 'being on'

Newton, Victoria (2012). Status passage, stigma and menstrual management: 'Starting' and 'being on'. Social Theory & Health, 10(4) pp. 392–407.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The purpose of this article is to examine and analyse the different discourses acting on the menstruating body and influencing the ways in which women experience and manage menstruation, on a personal level as well as collectively. The article is thus concerned with menstrual etiquette and the societal norms informing how menstruation is managed. It offers an observational and theoretical interpretation of the practical aspects of menstrual management with reference to the sociological concept of a ‘status passage’ (Glaser and Strauss) and theories of impression management and stigma (Goffman). It also discusses the learnt processes of body watching and menstrual control and supports on the basis of ‘real-life’ accounts given by research participants. The theoretical framework of the article provides a way to move forward discussions about the historical and medical construction of menstruation by discussing how it is managed as an ‘everyday’ bodily process.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2012 Macmillan Publishers Ltd
ISSN: 1477-822X
Keywords: menstruation; menarche; body management; passage; stigma
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 39779
Depositing User: Victoria Newton
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2014 15:28
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:22
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU