Conceiving the New World Order: The Global Politics of Reproduction / Edition 1

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This groundbreaking volume provides a dramatic investigation of the dynamics of reproduction. In an unusually broad spectrum of essays, a distinguished group of international feminist scholars and activists explores the complexity of contemporary sexual politics around the globe. Using reproduction as an entry point in the study of social life and placing it at the center of social theory, the authors examine how cultures are produced, contested, and transformed as people imagine their collective future in the creation of the next generation. The studies encompass a wide variety of subjects, from the impact of AIDS on reproduction in the United States to the aftereffects of Chernobyl on the Sami people in Norway and the impact of totalitarian abortion and birth control policies in Romania and China. The contributors use historical and comparative perspectives to illuminate the multiple and intersecting forms of power and resistance through which reproduction is given cultural weight and social form. They discuss the ways that seemingly distant influences shape and constrain local reproductive experiences such as the international flows of adoptive babies and childcare workers and the Victorian and imperial legacy of eugenics and family planning.

Author Biography: Faye D. Ginsburg is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University and the author of Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community (California, 1989). Rayna Rapp is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Graduate Program in Ger Studies and Feminist Theory at the New School for Social Research.

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Editorial Reviews

Feminist scholars and activists explore contemporary sexual politics around the globe, using reproduction as an opening to investigate women's social life. The 23 essays consider the impact of AIDS in the US, Chernobyl among the Sami people of Scandinavian, totalitarian abortion and birth-control policies in Romania and China, and other conditions affecting the production of the next culture. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520089143
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 450
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Faye D. Ginsburg is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University and the author of Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community (California, 1989). Rayna Rapp is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Graduate Program in Gender Studies and Feminist Theory at the New School for Social Research.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Conceiving the New World Order 1
2 A Surfeit of Bodies: Population and the Rationality of the State in Post-Mao China 22
3 Modern Bodies, Modern Minds: Midwifery and Reproductive Change in an African American Community 42
4 Irniktakpunga!: Sex Determination and the Inuit Struggle for Birthing Rights in Northern Canada 59
5 "Like a Mother to Them": Stratified Reproduction and West Indian Childcare Workers and Employers in New York 78
6 On the Outside Looking In: The Politics of Lesbian Motherhood 103
7 Households Headed by Women: The Politics of Race, Class, and Gender 122
8 Early Childbearing: What Is the Problem and Who Owns It? 140
9 Deadly Reproduction among Egyptian Women: Maternal Mortality and the Medicalization of Population Control 162
10 Coitus Interruptus and Family Respectability in Catholic Europe: A Sicilian Case Study 177
11 Women's Reproductive Practices and Biomedicine: Cultural Conflicts and Transformations in Nigeria 195
12 National Honor and Practical Kinship: Unwanted Women and Children 212
13 Political Demography: The Banning of Abortion in Ceausescu's Romania 234
14 From Reproduction to HIV: Blurring Categories, Shifting Positions 256
15 Physical and Cultural Reproduction in a Post-Chernobyl Norwegian Sami Community 270
16 Public Servants, Professionals, and Feminists: The Politics of Contraceptive Research in Brazil 292
17 The Normalization of Prenatal Diagnostic Screening 307
18 Postmodern Procreation: A Cultural Account of Assisted Reproduction 323
19 Displacing Knowledge: Technology and the Consequences for Kinship 346
20 Interrogating the Concept of Reproduction in the Eighteenth Century 369
21 The Body as Property: A Feminist Re-vision 387
22 Reassessing Reproduction in Social Theory 407
23 Misreading Darwin on Reproduction: Reductionism in Evolutionary Theory 425
Notes on Contributors 445
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