Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam

Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam

by Tine M. Gammeltoft
Pub. Date:
University of California Press
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Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam

Based on years of careful ethnographic fieldwork in Hanoi, Haunting Images offers a frank and compassionate account of the moral quandaries that accompany innovations in biomedical technology. At the center of the book are the case stories of thirty pregnant women whose fetuses were labeled “abnormal” after an ultrasound examination. By following these women and their relatives through painful processes of reproductive decision making, Tine M. Gammeltoft offers intimate ethnographic insights into everyday lives in contemporary Vietnam and a sophisticated theoretical exploration of how subjectivities are forged in the face of moral assessments and demands.

Across the globe, ultrasonography and other technologies for prenatal screening present prospective parents with new information and agonizing decisions never faced in the past. For anthropologists, this diagnostic capability raises important questions regarding how we think about matters of individuality and collectivity, responsibility and choice. Arguing for more sustained anthropological attention to human quests for belonging, Haunting Images addresses existential questions of love and loss that concern us all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520278431
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 03/14/2014
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Prologue: Haunting Decisions

Introduction: Choice as Belonging

1. Sonographic Imaging and Selective Reproduction in Hanoi
2. A Collectivizing Biopolitics
3. Precarious Maternal Belonging
4. “Like a Loving Mother”: Moral Engagements in Medical Worlds
5. “How Have We Lived?” Accounting for Reproductive Misfortune
6. Beyond Knowledge: Everyday Encounters with Disability
7. Questions of Conscience

Conclusion: Toward an Anthropology of Belonging
Appendix: Core Cases


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