Chapter

Consuming Technologies

Gay Becker

in The Elusive Embryo

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780520224308
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925243 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520224308.003.0002
Consuming Technologies

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This chapter explores how reproductive technologies embody cultural phenomena and become entwined with people's lives. It examines technologies designed to bring about conception from the perspective of the women and men who use them. Drawing on two studies of infertility with over 300 women and men in the United States who were interviewed several times over one or two years, it tells their stories of the effect of reproductive technologies on their lives. It examines how people seek solutions while resisting the heavy moral force of expectations. This chapter also explores how women and men negotiate gender and gender relations, how they tease apart and analyze the various elements of the cultural ideal of biological parenthood, and how they assess the biomedical system in which they ambivalently participate. It traces how that experience becomes increasingly politicized as they confront the powerful social, cultural, and economic forces that shape this industry, and how they act to influence the process in which they are engaged.

Keywords: reproductive technologies; biological parenthood; biomedical system; infertility; gender relations

Chapter.  8781 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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