Conceiving Kinship: Assisted Conception, Procreation and Family in Southern Europe
..".a fine example of how an anthropological approach, based on skilful ethnographic research, can illuminate the way kinship and family are understood in present-day culture...[The book] is an exemplary ethnography, building on previous works in this area and making advances in both methodology and theory." - Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
"Conceiving Kinship provides intriguing and important insights into a period of rapid and unregulated development in assisted conception in Italy in the late 1990s. The book draws us into detailed and sensitive accounts of couples' intentions, assumptions and actions during a time of shifting expectations about parenthood and the ways that one might become a parent. Rich interview and conversational material is gathered from heterosexual as well as homosexual couples in relation to a wide range of assisted conception scenarios. This detailed ethnographic fieldwork, combined with a sustained analytical interrogation, makes for a significant contribution to the complex mosaic of practices and values which lie beneath the Euro-American kinship label. It is one which will become an important reference point for future debates about assisted conception in Europe and beyond." - Robert Simpson, Reader, University of Durham
Conceiving Kinship is an in-depth journey, the first of its kind, into how heterosexual, lesbian and gay couples using programmes of gamete donation conceptualize and make Italian kinship. It explores the provision of treatment in clinical and non-clinical settings at a time when Italy was considered the 'Wild-West' of assisted conception. This compelling study provides a new perspective on hotly debated issues in kinship studies and the modern medical technologies; it offers fresh insights into longstanding questions of cultural continuities and discontinuities in European kinship.
Monica M.E. Bonaccorso is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Durham, following a position as Affiliated Lecturer and Wellcome Trust Fellow in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.