The Public Life of the Fetal Sonogram: Technology, Consumption, and the Politics of Reproduction

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Rutgers University Press, Sep 9, 2008 - Social Science - 222 pages
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In The Public Life of the Fetal Sonogram, medical anthropologist Janelle S. Taylor analyzes the full sociocultural context of ultrasound technology and imagery. Drawing upon ethnographic research both within and beyond the medical setting, Taylor shows how ultrasound has entered into public consumer culture in the United States. The book documents and critically analyzes societal uses for ultrasound such as nondiagnostic "keepsake" ultrasound businesses that foster a new consumer market for these blurry, monochromatic images of eagerly awaited babies, and anti-abortion clinics that use ultrasound in an attempt to make women bond with the fetuses they carry, inciting a pro-life state of mind.

This book offers much-needed critical awareness of the less easily recognized ways in which ultrasound technology is profoundly social and political in the United States today.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Sonographers and the Making of the Public Fetus
26
Obstetrical Ultrasound between Medical Practice and Public Culture
52
Love Machine The Theory of Ultrasound Bonding
77
Prenatal Diagnosis Pregnancy and Consumption
116
Entertaining Fetuses Keepsake Ultrasound and Crisis Pregnancy Centers
144
Afterword
169
Notes
175
Bibliography
181
Index
197
About the Author
207
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Janelle S. Taylor is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Washington. She is coeditor of Consuming Motherhood (Rutgers University Press).

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