Tessa Moll
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Subjects of scarcity
Making white egg providers in the repro-hub of South Africa
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South Africa’s growing presence in the global bioeconomy for reproductive material and services has attracted recent attention, both in media and in academis. At least in the pre-covid context, egg provision in South Africa was propelling a multi-million-rand market in IVF and drawing reproductive travellers from numerous countries, including the UK, Germany and Australia. This chapter explores the local histories, regulatory conditions, and the political economy of access to assisted reproductive technologies as they intersect with racial imaginaries in the making of South Africa as a ‘repro-hub’. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research on IVF and egg provision in South Africa, it situates white egg providers as subjects of scarcity, whose subjectivity emerges alongside the market framing of their seemingly scarce biogenetic material and historical racial imaginaries of respectable whiteness. This reflects that whiteness operates paradoxically as both global, on the one hand, and scarce and particular on the other.

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