By Sarah Franklin

New reproductive applied sciences, corresponding to in vitrio fertilization, were the topic of extreme public dialogue and debate around the globe. as well as tricky moral, ethical, own and political questions, new applied sciences of assisted perception additionally increase novel socio-cultural dilemmas. How are parenthood, kinship and procreation being redefined within the context of latest reproductive applied sciences? Has reproductive selection develop into a part of purchaser tradition? Embodied Progress bargains a special viewpoint on those and different cultural dimensions of assisted perception ideas. in accordance with ethnographic examine in Britain, this research foregrounds the studies of girls and who suffer IVF, while additionally asking how such reports might be variously understood.

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Extra resources for Embodied Progress: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception

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As she stated in her 1985 paper, ‘The Elementary Structure of Reproduction in Kinship and Gender Studies’:3 24 Conception among the anthropologists My argument is that the model of sexual procreation, which Schneider contends defines the field of kinship studies, also defines the field of gender studies; consequently, what we have treated as two distinct, if intimately connected, domains of study in anthropology, are more accurately viewed as two aspects of a single domain defined by the same cultural model.

To the contrary, argued Malinowski: 32 Conception among the anthropologists Modern science shows…that their social institutions have a very definite organisation, that they are governed by authority, law and order in their public and personal relations, while the latter are, besides, under the control of extremely complex ties of kinship and clanship. (1922:10) This emphasis on ‘scientific’ methodology as an antidote to the inaccuracies and racism of prevailing theories, along with his sensitivity to the overemphasis on biological paternity by anthropologists from patriarchal cultures (1962:56), provide something of an historical context in which to situate Malinowski’s distinctive contribution to the study of kinship.

Giving undeservedly short shrift to the very long history of anthropological debates about paternity in this introductory section (below), I begin more detailed discussion in the early-twentieth century with Malinowski’s work on the Trobrianders and the debates his ethnographic findings generated among anthropologists. In the subsequent sections I discuss the arguments of Edmund Leach, Melford Spiro, David Schneider and Annette Weiner with particular attention to how their accounts of conception and procreation affect their models of kinship.

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