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When a woman in the United States becomes pregnant or tries to .become pregnant, she enters a world of information, technology, and expertise. Suddenly her body becomes public in a new way: medicine, law, and popular culture all offer her sometimes contradictory "expert" advice. Confinements explores the advice offered to pregnant and infertile women by examining assumptions about femininity, class, and the reproductive body that structure the language of expertise. Even advice books written from a specifically countercultural or feminist point of view often attempt to police the way women think about their bodies.
Confinements argues that our perceptions about both pregnancy and infertility are limited by our culture's battles over the meaning of choice and control, arguments over what is natural or unnatural, and the troubled relationship between reproduction and the domestic sphere. The book breaks new ground in its analysis of gender, health, and reproduction. -- The first book to analyze the rhetoric of contemporary advice books on reproduction, with special attention to race and class. -- The first book to show how the contemporary rhetoric about pregnancy and infertility are linked. -- The authors' personal experiences, included in the text, make the book accessible to all readers.
Table of Contents
Ch. 1 Confinements 17
Closer to Home: The Domestic in the Discourses of Upper-Middle Class Pregnacy 17
Confinement Outside the Home: The Institutionalization of Pregnant, Crack-Addicted Women 31
Ch. 2 Unnatural Births: Cesarian Sections and Pain Management in the Natural Childbirth Movement 45
Ch. 3 Making Choices, Making Babies 69
Ch. 4 Displacements 95
Ch. 5 The Nature of Infertility 119
Ch. 6 Autonomy, Control, and Fertility 137
Conclusion: Advice about Advice 163
Works Cited 171
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