Reproduction, Globalization, and the State

New Theoretical and Ethnographic Perspectives

Reproduction, Globalization, and the State

Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: 2 tables, 3 figures Published: March 2011

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, Medicine and Health > Public Health and Health Policy

Reproduction, Globalization, and the State conceptualizes and puts into practice a global anthropology of reproduction and reproductive health. Leading anthropologists offer new perspectives on how transnational migration and global flows of communications, commodities, and biotechnologies affect the reproductive lives of women and men in diverse societies throughout the world. Based on research in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Western Europe, their fascinating ethnographies provide insight into reproduction and reproductive health broadly conceived to encompass population control, HIV/AIDS, assisted reproductive technologies, paternity tests, sex work, and humanitarian assistance. The contributors address the methodological challenges of research on globalization, including ways of combining fine-grained ethnography with analyses of large-scale political, economic, and ideological forces. Their essays reveal complex interactions among global and state population policies and politics; public health, human rights, and feminist movements; diverse medical systems; various religious practices, doctrines, and institutions; and intimate relationships and individual aspirations.

Contributors. Aditya Bharadwaj, Caroline H. Bledsoe, Carole H. Browner, Junjie Chen, Aimee R. Eden, Susan L. Erikson, Didier Fassin, Claudia Lee Williams Fonseca, Ellen Gruenbaum, Matthew Gutmann, Marcia C. Inhorn, Mark B. Padilla, Rayna Rapp, Lisa Ann Richey, Carolyn Sargent, Papa Sow, Cecilia Van Hollen, Linda Whiteford


Reproduction, Globalization, and the State is an important contribution to global debates on reproductive health and rights, since it serves as a
welcome reminder that reproduction, despite its universality as a central feature of human societies, never takes place in a vacuum.” — Andrea Lynch, Gender and Development

“The themes presented in this volume are highly topical; the complexities of studying the local and the global, the micro and the macro, are well illustrated; and the theoretical notions the chapters build on are clearly explained. These three qualities, together with a thought-provoking foreword by Rayna Rapp and epilogue by Didier Fassin, make this volume highly recommendable for academics and others interested in the field of reproduction and globalization.” — Trudie Gerrits, Medische Antropologie

“This book is not only geographically wide ranging but it also encompasses many aspects of human reproduction…. Browner and Sargent have found room in this volume for scholarship on many diverse aspects of individuals’ reproductive journeys. . . . These aspects make it a refreshing, illuminating and diverse read[…]… At a point where concerns over the availability of funding for the social sciences are paramount, this book reminds us of the importance of social science research regarding men and women’s reproductive lives.” — Samantha Murphy, Sociology of Health & Illness

“This is a diverse and unique collection of ethnographies that illustrates the various complexities of reproduction and reproductive health for women and men. The strength of the volume is the attempt to conceptualize human agency and the exploration of how reproduction in varying communities are influenced by global and state institutions, policies, ideologies, and biotechnology.” — Dana Chalupa, Gendered Perspectives on International Development

It is refreshing to find a well-written, cohesive edited volume. . . . Professionals and students alike should find this work appealing; it can serve as an introduction to pivotal issues in the field, yet also delves into key theoretical concepts and methodological approaches in health policy, gender studies, public health, and anthropology. The book is theoretically rich without being overly dense, and this winning combination stands
a good chance of bringing anthropological theory and methods into the boardrooms of policymakers.” — Vania Smith-Oka, Studies in Family Planning

“Building on Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp’s pathbreaking work, Carole H. Browner and Carolyn F. Sargent’s Reproduction, Globalization, and the State situates anthropological approaches to globalizing and gendered practices, politics, and policies of reproduction firmly in the twenty-first century. This rich collection of multisited studies contributes to multidisciplinary approaches to global ethnography and will enliven debates in research and teaching alike.” — Gail Kligman, author of The Politics of Duplicity: Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu’s Romania

“These fascinating and provocative essays represent some of the most exciting scholarship on the anthropology of reproduction.” — Lynn M. Morgan, author of Icons of Life: A Cultural History of Human Embryos

“This welcome, timely collection illuminates the rapidly transforming landscape of reproduction worldwide by bringing together case studies by outstanding ethnographers known for their research on reproduction. Each contributor demonstrates an impressive grip on local circumstances, while also showing how those circumstances are inevitably shaped by state policies or inaction. The editors’ introduction explains the sophisticated theoretical and methodological approaches brought to bear throughout the collection, and Rayna Rapp’s foreword and Didier Fassin’s epilogue sharpen the framework of a book that will set the standard for research on reproduction and globalization for the next decade.” — Faye Ginsburg, coeditor of Conceiving the New World Order: The Global Politics of Reproduction


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Carole H. Browner is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is also Professor of Women’s Studies and in the David Geffen School of Medicine. She is a co-author of Neurogenetic Diagnoses: The Power of Hope and the Limits of Today’s Medicine.

Carolyn F. Sargent is Professor of Anthropology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of Maternity, Medicine, and Power and a co-editor of several books, including Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword / Rayna Rapp ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction. Toward Global Anthropological Studies of Reproduction: Concepts, Methods, Theoretical Approaches / Carole H. Browner and Carolyn F. Sargent 1

Part I. Global Technologies, State Policies, and Local Realities/ Introduction to Part I 19

1. Global Ethnography: Problems of Theory and Method / Susan L. Erickson 23

2. Globalizing, Reproducing, and Civilizing the Rural Subjects: Population Control Policy and Constructions of Rural Identity in China / Junjie Chen 38

3. Planning Men Out of Family Planning: A Case Study from Mexico / Matthew Gutmann 53

4. Antiviral but Pronatal? ARVS and Reproductive Health: The View from a South African Township / Lisa Ann Richey 68

5. Birth in the Age of AIDS: Local Responses to Global Policies and Technologies in South India / Cecilia Van Hollen 83

6. Competing Globalizing Influences on Local Muslim Women's Reproductive Health and Human Rights in Sudan: Women's Rights, International Feminism, and Islamism / Ellen Gruenbaum 96

Part II. Biotechnology, Biocommerce, and Body Commodification/ Introduction to Part II 111

7. Reproductive Viability and the State: Embryonic Stem Cell Research in India / Aditya Bharadwaj 113

8. Globalization and Gametes: Islam, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, and the Middle Eastern State / Marcia C. Inhorn 126

9. Law, Technology, and Gender Relations: Following the Path of DNA Paternity Tests in Brazil / Claudia Fonseca 138

Part III. Consequences of Population Movements for Agency, Structure, and Reproductive Processes/ Introduction to Part III 155

10. From Sex Workers to Tourism Workers: A Structural Approach to Male Sexual Labor in Dominican Tourism Areas / Mark B. Padilla 159

11. Family Reunification Ideals and the Practice of Transnational Reproductive Life among Africans in Europe / Caroline H. Bledsoe and Papa Sow 175

12. Problematizing Polygamy, Managing Maternity: The Intersections of Global, State, and Family Politics in the Lives of West African Migrant Women in France / Carolyn F. Sargent 192

13. Lost in Translation: Lessons from California on the Implementation of State-Mandated Fetal Diagnosis in the Context of Globalization / Carole H. Browner 204

14. Reproductive Rights in No-Woman's-Land: Politics and Humanitarian Assistance / Linda M. Whiteford and Aimee R. Eden 224

Epilogue. The Mystery Child and the Politics of Reproduction: Between National Imaginaries and Transnational Confrontations / Didier Fassin 239

References 249

Contributors 277

Index 281
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Winner, 2012 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize, presented by the Society for Medical Anthropology

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4960-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4941-9
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