Queering Reproduction: Achieving Pregnancy in the Age of Technoscience

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By failing to think rigorously about law, the book gets in trouble.


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No institutional affiliation. LOG IN. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Of Lesbians and Technosperm.

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However, it contributes significantly to the expansion of this area and pushes it in new directions through its engagement with the politics of lesbian reproduction. One fascinating aspect of this book is the way in which it conveys some of the similarities between lesbian narratives of reproductive technologies and those of heterosexual women, as well as the many ways in which they are very different. She demonstrates that while there have been suggestions that reproductive technol- ogies have the capacity to queer reproduction, there have been successive studies showing that in practice such technologies reify heterosexuality.

However, the question of normalcy versus transgression is clearly somewhat beside the point for Mamo. The book exam- ines lesbian reproductive politics — in northern California from to the early 21st century — and the interview research is conducted in late and through As such it is based on a very specific group of women in particular loca- tions in time and space, and this context is vital in terms of understanding the research.


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What Malmo achieves with this book can be best summarized in her own terms: As the particular choreographies discussed herein reveal, some women follow given technological scripts while others create their own interpretation and meanings for the technologies and associated practices, thus subverting the expectations and scripts of the developers, marketers, and services organised around the technologies. Analysing their negotiations allows one to see how lesbians navigate shifting control loci by variously resisting, accommodating, ignoring and otherwise transforming the normative ideals of reproduction, pregnancy and social relations.

One must be cautious not to Downloaded from bod. Instead one must see that all new freedoms bring new controls, that all new expansions come with accommodation and incorporation, and that the imagined and the actual, the material and the semiotic co-exist.

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The illustration of the intricate dynamics of this relationship have the added effect of providing a particular history of the politics and practices of the Bay Area itself, and there are parts of this book that have direct relevance for any socio-historical research of the area.

The strength of this book is the detail of the research and the range of nar- ratives. The detail of everyday engagements with fertility services, the hardships, triumphs and costs, and the constant nego- tiation and re-negotiation of identity makes for compelling reading. A sense that Mamo has an affinity with her participants comes through in her writing and she is very generous in the space that she gives to the direct reporting of participant narratives. There are some things this book does less well than others. This can be unhelpful in places; while the fertility industry is a global industry, it plays out differently and unevenly in multiple contexts, and clearly women do not only appear as its users, and some reference to work that desta- bilizes this universalized version of the fertility industry e.

Throsby, would be useful in this respect. However, there are moments when it is inevitably generalized and this can make it difficult reading from a different per- spective.


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For lesbians in Europe for whom the use of fertility services also invokes the state, access to IVF has also been structured through a heterosexual Downloaded from bod. There are also some generalized references to lesbian practices which read differently — the claim that lesbians had specific reproductive practices in the s and s, and that this changed in the s is culturally specific.

Queering Reproduction: Achieving Pregnancy in the Age of Technoscience

However, overall I would strongly recommend this book at several levels. The accessibility of style and originality of scope, as well as the clarity of method, make it an exemplary text for postgraduate research students, especially on taught or research programmes in the sociology of health and medicine, sociol- ogy of the family, science studies, and sexuality and gender studies. This book would also work at an undergraduate level for some areas, as individual chapters are sufficiently clear and well structured that they could also be used on advanced level undergraduate courses as guided reading.

This book also has much to recommend it to researchers in the social sciences who are looking for original material on the family, reproductive politics, sexuality and gender. Unusually for an academic book Queering Reproduction is more in touch with contemporary cultural experience than the academic literature.

Queering Reproduction: Achieving Pregnancy in the Age of Technoscience

Like the recent film The Kids Are Alright it has much to offer both as a commentary in the broader social landscape and for women thinking about, or using, fertility services. The narratives of the participants are carefully curated in this book and anyone interested in lesbian kinship, and in how lesbians negotiate reproduction, would be a potential reader for these fascinating, moving and carefully told stor- ies.

Given the strength of these pieces, I think it is important to reproduce some sense of these here, one participant narrates: So we actually had previously done one cycle of IVF with me and had embryos from that.

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At the same time we were doing a cycle of IVF with her eggs. We were planning on freezing the embryos because [Elsie] had a big fibroid. So [Elsie] went through IVF, froze all the embryos. And then we started putting [her] embryos back in me. And we had two straws of embryos. We actually had four straws.


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