Cultural Perspectives on Reproductive Health

Hardcover | April 1, 2001

EditorCarla Makhlouf Obermeyer

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This volume brings together studies carried out in a variety of contexts to explore the relevance of the notion of reproductive health and the role of culture in shaping its diverse manifestations. The perspective that guides the collection is informed by anthropological and sociologicalresearch on the body, pluralism, and medicalization, and by recent debates regarding women's health and the need to reconcile global agendas and local conditions.The fourteen chapters provide views of how reproductive health is viewed by women and men in different parts of the world, mainly at the level of local communities---in India, Egypt, Mexico, Kenya, and South Africa---but also in centres of power in China and Iran, and in modern (and post-modern)settings of the North and Far East. The methodological approaches used by authors are varied, but all share a concern with the perceptions, decisions, and rationalizations that surround health and reproduction. A central theme is the correspondence between professional and lay models of reproductive health, and some chapters explicitly seek to uncover the logic of practices that appear irrational from a biomedical point of view. By analysing behaviour from the perspective of the actors themselves, theyshow the relevance of local notions for understanding the factors that constitute risks for reproductive ill-health, including conditions of material deprivation, constraints in seeking care, and inappropriate use of therapies and technologies."Cultural Perspectives on Reproductive Health" illustrates complex processes of negotiation, adaptation, and manipulation in the formulation of ideas and policies related to reproductive health through analyses of such topics as the state's discourse on population, religious constraints on abortioncare, professional and legal policies on reproductive technologies, health professionals' response to violence, and the dilemmas that emerge from the new diagnostic and genetic techniques. It also invites reflection on the societal construction of rights across cultures and on the place of culturalexplanations in analyses of reproductive health.

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This volume brings together studies carried out in a variety of contexts to explore the relevance of the notion of reproductive health and the role of culture in shaping its diverse manifestations. The perspective that guides the collection is informed by anthropological and sociologicalresearch on the body, pluralism, and medicalizati...

Carla Makhlouf Obermeyer is Associate Professor of Population and Anthropology in the Department of Population and International Health at Harvard University. She is currently on leave from Harvard and working as a scientist with the World Health Organization on research and evidence related to women's health.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.79 inPublished:April 1, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199246890

ISBN - 13:9780199246892

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Table of Contents

1. PROFESSIONAL AND LAY MODELS OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, ILLNESS AND THERAPY1. Radhika Ramasubban and Bhanwar Singh: WEAKNESS ('ASHAKTAPANA') AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AMONG WOMEN IN A SLUM POPULATION IN MUMBAI2. Inge Hutter: NUTRITION AND REPRODUCTION: THE SOCIO-CULTURAL CONTEXT OF FOOD BEHAVIOR IN RURAL SOUTH INDIA3. Nancy Luke, Ina Warriner, and Susan Watkins: 'RARIU DOESN'T RHYME WITH WESTERN MEDICINE': LAY BELIEFS AND ILLNESS NETWORKS IN KENYA4. Marcia Inhorn: OBSTACLES TO INFERTILITY TREATMENT IN EGYPT: CULTURAL AND CLASS-BASED CONSTRAINTS TO UTILIZATION OF NEW REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES5. Mark Nichter: VULNERABILITY, PROPHYLACTIC ANTIBIOTIC USE, HARM REDUCTION, AND THE MISGUIDED APPROPRIATION OF MEDICAL RESOURCES: THE CASE OF STDS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA2. DISCOURSE, PRACTICE, AND REPRODUCTIVE CHOICES6. Susan Greenhalgh: CHINA'S MISSING GIRLS: CHANGING CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROBLEM IN CHINESE POPULATION DISCOURSE7. Homa Hoodfar: REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH COUNSELING IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN: THE ROLE OF WOMEN MULLAHS8. Dale Huntington: ABORTION IN EGYPT: OFFICIAL CONSTRAINTS AND POPULAR PRACTICES9. Deborah James and Carol E. Kaufman: THE REPRODUCTIVE CONSEQUENCES OF SHIFTING ETHNIC IDENTITY IN SOUTH AFRICA10. Nora Jacobson: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE MAKING OF WOMEN'S HEALTH POLICY: THE CASE OF SILICONE BREAST IMPLANTS IN THE UNITED STATES3. CULTURE, REPRODUCTION, AND RIGHTS11. Soledad Gonzales Montes: THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF MARITAL VIOLENCE IN AN INDIAN AREA OF MEXICO12. Margaret Lock: ELIMINATING STIGMATIZATION: APPLICATIONS OF THE NEW GENETICS IN JAPAN13. Rosalind P. Petchesky: RE-THEORIZING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS IN THE LIGHT OF FEMINIST CROSS-CULTURAL RESEARCH14. Didier Fassin: CULTURALISM AS IDEOLOGY

Editorial Reviews

"In this stimulating volume of essays by Carla Makhlouf Obermeyer, the profound relationship of culture and population processes is examined through the prism of reproductive health."--Studies in Family Planning