Ourselves Unborn: A History of the Fetus in Modern America

Hardcover | January 1, 2011

bySara Dubow

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During the past several decades, the fetus has been diversely represented in political debates, medical textbooks and journals, personal memoirs and autobiographies, museum exhibits and mass media, and civil and criminal law. Ourselves Unborn argues that the meanings people attribute to thefetus are not based simply on biological fact or theological truth, but are in fact strongly influenced by competing definitions of personhood and identity, beliefs about knowledge and authority, and assumptions about gender roles and sexuality. In addition, these meanings can be shaped by dramatichistorical change: over the course of the twentieth century, medical and technological changes made fetal development more comprehensible, while political and social changes made the fetus a subject of public controversy. Moreover, since the late nineteenth century, questions about how fetal lifedevelops and should be valued have frequently intersected with debates about the authority of science and religion, and the relationship between the individual and society. In examining the contested history of fetal meanings, Sara Dubow brings a fresh perspective to these vital debates.

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During the past several decades, the fetus has been diversely represented in political debates, medical textbooks and journals, personal memoirs and autobiographies, museum exhibits and mass media, and civil and criminal law. Ourselves Unborn argues that the meanings people attribute to thefetus are not based simply on biological fact ...

Sara Dubow is Assistant Professor of History at Williams College.

other books by Sara Dubow

Ourselves Unborn: A History of the Fetus in Modern America
Ourselves Unborn: A History of the Fetus in Modern Amer...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:January 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195323432

ISBN - 13:9780195323436

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Fetal Stories1. Discovering Fetal Life, 1870s-1920s2. Interpreting Fetal Bodies, 1930s-1970s3. Defining Fetal Personhood, 1973-19764. Defending Fetal Rights: 1970s-1990s5. Debating Fetal Pain, 1984-2007Epilogue: Fetal MeaningsNotesBibliography