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Embodying Culture: Pregnancy in Japan and Israel
     

Embodying Culture: Pregnancy in Japan and Israel

by Tsipy Ivry
 

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Embodying Culture is an ethnographically grounded exploration of pregnancy in two different cultures-Japan and Israel-both of which medicalize pregnancy. Tsipy Ivry focuses on "lowrisk" or "normal" pregnancies, using cultural comparison to explore the complex relations among ethnic ideas about procreation, local reproductive politics, medical models of

Overview

Embodying Culture is an ethnographically grounded exploration of pregnancy in two different cultures-Japan and Israel-both of which medicalize pregnancy. Tsipy Ivry focuses on "lowrisk" or "normal" pregnancies, using cultural comparison to explore the complex relations among ethnic ideas about procreation, local reproductive politics, medical models of pregnancy care, and local modes of maternal agency.

The ethnography pieces together the voices of pregnant Japanese and Israeli women, their doctors, their partners, the literature they read, and depicts various clinical encounters such as ultrasound scans, explanatory classes for amniocentesis, birthing classes, and special pregnancy events.

The emergent pictures suggest that athough experiences of pregnancy in Japan and Israel differ, pregnancy in both cultures is an energyconsuming project of meaningmaking- suggesting that the sense of biomedical technologies are not only in the technologies themselves but are assigned by those who practice and experience them.

Editorial Reviews

Choice

"Ivry's extremely rich ethnography succeeds in defamiliarizing assumptions about pregnancy and gestation in both Israel and Japan. Recommended."
Ethos
"Ivry's timely book adds ethnographic description and analysis to public discussions about exactly what pregnancy means. This book reminds us why pregnancy—not just the newest technological methods—is a fascinating window into culture, and the themes it considers will be of interest to teachers and students in anthropology, gender studies, medical anthropology, epidemiology, and area studies."
author of Birth as an American Rite of Passage - Robbie Davis-Floyd
"A fascinating double-ethnography of pregnancy in two cultures. This outstanding book reveals stunning cultural differences in the interpretation of the embodied experience of pregnancy. In spite of their mutual technological sophistication, Japanese and Israeli views on pregnancy could hardly be more different, nor could the biomedical advice that women in each culture receive. Ivry's work takes Brigitte Jordan's analysis of birth in four cultures to a new level, focusing specifically on the cultural influences that profoundly affect both women's and obstetricians' perceptions and management of pregnancy, and deeply demonstrating the influence of culture on biomedical 'science.'"
author of Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death - Margaret Lock
"With finely crafted ethnography, Tsipy Ivry engages her readers in the most intimate of experiences—pregnancy. Research in Japan and Israel reveals how medical knowledge and technologies are made use of differentially in these two locations by both physicians and women to accomplish a remarkably dissimilar embodiment of future motherhood. Ivry's position is that concern about the ramifications of technologically assisted reproduction should not usurp representations of the cultures of pregnancy."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813548302
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
09/30/2009
Series:
Studies in Medical Anthropology
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
1,065,422
File size:
404 KB

Meet the Author

Tsipy Ivr y is a lecturer in anthropology at the department of sociology and anthropology at the University of Haifa, Israel.

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