Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth and Modernity in South India

Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth and Modernity in South India

Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth and Modernity in South India

Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth and Modernity in South India

Synopsis

"This is a beautifully written and well-organized book, combining theoretical insights and ethnographic detail. It represents an important contribution to medical anthropological scholarship on reproduction as well as to the theoretical debates on modernity and development."--Carolyn Sargent, author of "Maternity, Medicine and Power

"By locating women's experiences of childbearing within a local political economy of class, caste and gender politics and international debates about development and human rights, "Birth on the Threshold provides a subtle and important contribution to the understanding of Indian modernity. With telling use of case material, the author shows us how poor Tamil women in contemporary south India are both willing collaborators and victims of changes in medical practice. Women's experiences at the hands of hospital staff, who often insert intrauterine contraceptive devices without their consent, are juxtaposed with their own perceptions and strategies of accommodation, negotiation and resistance. This book will be essential reading for students of gender, medical anthropology and of South Asia in general."--Patricia Jeffery, co-author of "Labour Pains and Labour Power: Women and Childbearing in India

"Compellingly argued and exquisitely written, Van Hollen's work stands as the best of a new generation of ethnographies critically rethinking the anthropology of childbirth. Accessible to anyone with an interest in the everyday and extraordinary politics of development, family planning, and poor women's lives, "Birth on the Threshold is necessary reading for all scholars of body, gender, and governmentality in South Asia and destined to become a classic in medicalanthropology. "--Lawrence Cohen, author of "No Aging in India: Alzheimer's, the Bad Family, and Other Modern Things

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