Making Modern Mothers: Ethics and Family Planning in Urban Greece


""Making Modern Mothers explores the ethics of reproductive agency and the changing meanings of motherhood in modern Greece where abortion is still more widely practiced than modern contraception, and having children represents a woman's social-moral achievement. In this very readable ethnography, Paxson analyzes how urban women manage their reproductive and sexual lives, and make sense both of being women and of being mothers. This is a welcome addition to a growing comparative literature."--Gail Kligman, author of "The Politics of Duplicity: Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu's Romania

"Whether addressing abortion, family planning, or pronatalist population policy, Paxson has perfect pitch, grounding these issues in women's stories, concerns, and dilemmas as they seek to achieve and embody a sense of modern Greek femininity."--Faye Ginsburg, author of "Contested Lives "

"An arresting book. . . . It is a powerful commentary on the cultural specificities of morality in the modern world."--Michael Herzfeld, author of "Cultural Intimacy "

"A fascinating study. Paxson's focus on ethics allows her to explain why individuals' efforts to be good women, mothers, doctors, and citizens can lead to counterintuitive results, such as high rates of abortion in a country where most women aspire to motherhood and politicians decry the low birth rate."--Jane F. Collier, author of "From Duty to Desire: Remaking Families in a Spanish Village