Infertility around the Globe: New Thinking on Childlessness, Gender, and Reproductive Technologies

Infertility around the Globe: New Thinking on Childlessness, Gender, and Reproductive Technologies

By: Frank van Balen (editor), Marcia C. Inhorn (editor)Paperback

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This exceptional collection of essays breaks new ground by examining the global impact of infertility as a major reproductive health issue, one that has profoundly affected the lives of countless women and men. Based on original research by seventeen internationally acclaimed social scientists, it is the first book to investigate the use of reproductive technologies in non-Western countries. Provocative and incisive, it is the most substantial work to date on the subject of infertility. With infertility as the lens through which a wide range of social issues is explored, the contributors address a far-reaching array of topics: why infertility has been neglected in population studies, how the deeply gendered nature of infertility sets the blame squarely on women's shoulders, how infertility and its treatment transform family dynamics and relationships, and the distribution of medical and marital power. The chapters present informed and sophisticated investigations into cultural perceptions of infertility in numerous countries, including China, India, the nations of sub-Saharan Africa, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Egypt, Israel, the United States, and the nations of Europe. Poised to become the quintessential reference on infertility from an international social science perspective, "Infertility around the Globe" makes a powerful argument that involuntary childlessness is a complex phenomenon that has far-reaching significance worldwide.

About Author

Marcia C. Inhorn is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, International Institute, and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her books include Quest for Conception: Gender, Infertility, and Egyptian Medical Traditions (1994) and Infertility and Patriarchy: The Cultural Politics of Gender and Family Life in Egypt (1996). She is coeditor of The Anthropology of Infectious Disease: International Health Perspectives (1997). Frank van Balen is Associate Professor of Education and in the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of three books in Dutch on childlessness, infertility, and new reproductive technologies, as well as a large number of articles on these subjects in international journals.


Part I. Discourses and Debates 1. Introduction. Interpreting Infertility: A View from the Social Sciences Frank van Balen and Marcia C. Inhorn 2. The Uses of a "Disease": Infertility as Rhetorical Vehicle Margarete Sandelowski and Sheryl de Lacey 3. Fertile Ground: Feminists Theorize Infertility Charis M. Thompson 4. The Psychologization of Infertility Frank van Balen Part II. Gender and Body Politics 5. Infertile Bodies: Medicalization, Metaphor, and Agency Arthur L. Greil 6. Deciding Whether to Tell Children about Donor Insemination: An Unresolved Question in the United States Gay Becker 7. Conceiving the Happy Family: Infertility and Marital Politics in Northern Vietnam Melissa J. Pashigian 8. Positioning Gender Identity in Narratives of Infertility: South Indian Women's Lives in Context Catherine Kohler Riessman 9. Childlessness, Adoption, and Milagros de Dios in Costa Rica Gwynne L. Jenkins with Silvia Vargas Obando and Jose Badilla Navas Part III. The Infertility Belt 10. Problematizing Fertility: "Scientific" Accounts and Chadian Women's Narratives Lori Leonard 11. Is Infertility an Unrecognized Public Health and Population Problem? The View from the Cameroon Grassfields Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg 12. Infertility and Matrilineality: The Exceptional Case of the Macua of Mozambique Trudie Gerrits 13. Infertility and Health Care in Countries with Less Resources: Case Studies from Sub-Saharan Africa Johanne Sundby Part IV. Globalizing Technologies 14. The "Local" Confronts the "Global": Infertile Bodies and New Reproductive Technologies in Egypt Marcia C. Inhorn 15. Rabbis and Reproduction: The Uses of New Reproductive Technologies among Ultraorthodox Jews in Israel Susan Martha Kahn 16. The Politics of Making Modern Babies in China: Reproductive Technologies and the "New" Eugenics Lisa Handwerker 17. Conception Politics: Medical Egos, Media Spotlights, and the Contest over Test-Tube Firsts in India Aditya Bharadwaj Contributors Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780520231375
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 355
  • ID: 9780520231375
  • weight: 499
  • ISBN10: 0520231376

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