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Reassembling Motherhood: Procreation and Care in a Globalized World

Yasmine Ergas

1 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0231170505 / ISBN 13: 9780231170505
Published by Columbia University Press
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: Reassembling Motherhood: Procreation and ...

Publisher: Columbia University Press

Binding: Hardback

Book Condition: New

About this title


The word "mother" has traditionally meant a woman who bears and nurtures a child. In recent decades, changes in social norms and public policy as well as advances in reproductive technologies and the development of markets for procreation and care have radically expanded definitions of motherhood. But while maternity has become a choice for more women, the freedom to make reproductive decisions is unevenly distributed. Restrictive policies, socioeconomic disadvantages, cultural mores, and discrimination force some women into motherhood or prevent them from caring for their children. Reassembling Motherhood brings together contributors from across the disciplines to examine the transformation of motherhood as both an identity and a role. It examines how the processes of bearing and rearing a child are being restructured as reproductive labor and care work change around the globe. The authors examine issues such as artificial reproductive technologies, surrogacy, fetal ultrasounds, adoption, nonparental care, and the legal status of kinship, showing how complex chains of procreation and childcare have simultaneously generated greater liberty and new forms of constraint. Emphasizing the tension between the liberalization of procreation and care on the one hand, and the limits to their democratization due to race, class, and global inequality on the other, the book highlights debates that have emerged during these multifaceted changes, working to fragment and then reassemble the concept of motherhood.


Ergas, Jenson, and Michel have edited an important collection that crystallizes the unequal and uneven transformations in the legal, social, economic, and biological relations of motherhood in the twenty-first century. Together, Reassembling Motherhood explores what we know, pushes the boundaries of knowledge, and raises new questions for further research. The collection is provocative in the best sense.--Eileen Boris, University of California, Santa Barbara, coauthor of Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State

This book is an important read for academics, as well as law and policy makers working in the fields of reproduction, families, and care work.--Canadian Journal of Sociology

What does motherhood mean in the twenty-first century? If you want informed and fascinating answers, read Reassembling Motherhood. A stellar interdisciplinary team of international scholars report on how technological advances, cultural changes, global migration, and variable state policies have transformed mothering. This landmark book will not only shape scholarly research but also instruct policymakers and engage a wide audience.--Viviana A. Zelizer, Lloyd Cotsen '50 Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, author of Economic Lives: How Culture Shapes the Economy

This fabulous collection challenges our conventional understanding of motherhood and its connection to bodies, technologies, global migration, and policy, and pushes the debate to the next level. Ergas, Jenson, Michel and their contributing authors masterfully and convincingly trace the dismantling of the traditional notion of motherhood and the expansion of its choices, and show how these in turn create different forms of social inequalities, and physical, emotional, and global connections and disconnections. This volume is a must read for anyone interested in the issues of motherhood, care, social inequality, and public policy.--Ito Peng, University of Toronto, coeditor of Gender, Migration, and the Work of Care: A Multi-Scalar Approach to the Pacific Rim

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