Features

‘On paper’ and ‘having papers’: migrants navigating medical xenophobia and obstetric rights in South Africa

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Chekero met Pauline at a local pharmacy in Giyani, a small town in the north-east of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The area is best known to foreigners as being close to the famous Kruger National Park, a tourist hotspot famous for ‘the Big Five’ game to which it is home. It is also an important receiving town for

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‘A bit of a compromise’: Coming to terms with an emergency caesarean section

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During the midwife-hosted antenatal class Cath attended in a private hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, where she would eventually give birth, pregnant women were encouraged to name the kind of birth they wanted. They were presented with three options: “natural all the way with no medication”, “natural but open to medication”, or “elective caesarean”. The ‘choice’ women were expected …

Features

Top of the Heap: Elly Teman

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Teman-Heap

For this installment of the Top of the Heap series, I spoke with Elly Teman, a medical anthropologist specializing in the anthropology of reproduction and a senior lecturer in the Department of Behavioural Science at Ruppin Academic Center in Israel.

Elly Teman

The top of my heap this past summer has been stacked with a list of documentary films on …

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When Research Bleeds into Real Life: Studying Reproductive Ageing while Ageing Reproductively

In a book chapter addressing feminist research methods and women’s health and healing, Rayna Rapp (1999) wrote about the complicated ways in which everyday life is embroiled in feminist research methods. She was speaking about how her own experience with amniocentesis was situated in her now canonical, multi-sited ethnography of this technology, and the corresponding challenges that arise when doing …

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Making a Case for Reducing Pollution in China, or The Case of the Ugly Sperm

The Chinese film, Under the Dome, tells the story of a former CCTV news anchor’s struggle to understand and deal with smog in the wake of her pregnancy and motherhood. The filmmaker and narrator, Chai Jing, makes a case for reducing pollution in China by highlighting the potential correlation between Beijing’s smog and the tumor found in her developing fetus, …

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Beyond “Wombs for Rent”: Indian Surrogates and the Need for Evidence-Based Policy

“We know that if we take some trouble with our body, it will take care of the education of our children; or we will be able to have a house, so we will be able to live well; or we will be able to satisfy the expectations of our children. This is what every woman thinks. So, if she cuts