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Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives
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Privileges of Birth
Constellations of Care, Myth, and Race in South Africa
Jennifer J. M. Rogerson
208 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-435-3 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Not Yet Published (November 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78920-436-0 eBook Not Yet Published
“Jennifer Rogerson is to be commended on an impressive, well-crafted and scholarly piece of work.” • Rachelle Chadwick, University of Pretoria
“Offers a rare glimpse into the lives of privileged pregnant women and their midwives in the Cape Town area…A major contribution to the anthropology of birth and the anthropology of care.” • Bettina Schmidt, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Focussing ethnographically on private sector maternity care in South Africa, Privileges of Birth attends to the ways healthcare and childbirth are shaped by South Africa’s racialised history. Birth is one of the most medicalised aspects of the life-cycle across all sectors of society and is also deeply divided between what the privileged can afford compared with the rest of the population. Examining the ethics of care in midwife-attended birth, the author situates the argument in the context of a growing literature on care in anthropological and feminist scholarship, offering a unique account of birthing care in the context of elite care services.
Jennifer JM Rogerson is a social anthropologist trained in South Africa, currently based in the UK. Her work has explored social-ecological health, and more recently the first 1000 days of life, under Fiona Ross' Andrew W Mellon research chair, which explores how life is made social. She is currently conducting research on kinds of family formation through work with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Subject: Medical Anthropology
Introduction: Elite Birthing Care in South Africa
Chapter 1. Myths of Birth: Intervention, Having ‘Choice’ and Histories of Birth
Chapter 2. Being heard: Planning, “choice” and knowing in pregnancy and birth
Chapter 3. Self-Making: Pain, Language and Metaphor in Birth Stories
Chapter 4. Making Birthing Relations: The Constitution of Attentiveness and Responsiveness
Conclusion: Care as a Problem, Care’s Limits
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