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Understanding bioprecarity

This volume is concerned with the ways in which bioprecarity, here understood as the vulnerabilization of people as embodied selves, is created through regulations and norms that encourage individuals to seek or provide bodily interventions of different kinds. We explore this in particular in relation to intimacy and intimate labour, such as in the making of families and kin and in various forms of care work. Advances in biotechnology, medical tourism and the visibilization of minoritized communities have resulted in unsettling the norms around the gendered body, intimate relations and intimate labour. Bodily interventions have sociocultural meanings and consequences both for those who seek such interventions and for those who provide the intimate labour in conducting them. The purpose of this volume is to explore these. This exploration involves sociocultural questions of boundary work, of privilege, of bodily ownership, of the multiple meanings of want (understood both as desire, for example the desire to have children or to change one’s bodily appearance; and as need – as in economic need – which often prompts people to undertake migration and/or intimate labour). It also raises questions about different kinds of vulnerabilities, for those who engage, and those who engage in, intimate labour. We use the term ‘bioprecarity’ to analyse those vulnerabilities.

Doris Leibetseder

countries towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) rights and other countries that restrict reproductive possibilities for queer and transgender people. A key aspect of my research is to document the experiences of queer and transgender people using assisted reproductive technology (ART). This is important because there are very different kinds of guidelines and regulations regarding ART in the diverse European countries. My focus in this chapter is on the use of ART by queer and transgender people, how they have to perform particular

in Bodily interventions and intimate labour
Men’s views of sperm donation
Gabriele Griffin

meaning of donor offspring within given families and how the latter, particularly grandparents, interpreted their sense of their relation to offspring conceived with assisted reproductive technology (ART). The sense of ambivalence was, however, very much the same, calling into question the ‘nature’ of kin and kinship. The questions associated with that are frequently about responsibilities towards such offspring – emotional, financial and other such responsibilities. As biotechnological opportunities create new kin formations, the interpretive repertoires that are

in Bodily interventions and intimate labour
Leon Antonio Rocha

earliest medical canons.”18 As such, I select a fertile area that needs urgent intervention: that intersection between Chinese medicine and assisted conception. I also hope to contribute to work on the cultures of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Pioneers from medical anthropology and sociology have studied the users of ART, particularly the regimens, outlooks, and lifestyles they follow.19 In the Chinese context, Judith Farquhar and Jeanne Shea have analyzed menopause, ageing, and infertility in postsocialist China, while Lisa Handwerker has written

in Historical epistemology and the making of modern Chinese medicine
Abstract only
Gabriele Griffin and Doris Leibetseder

question of gender labour the chapter then discusses how gendered and racialized ideas of parenthood and kinship are reproduced and reworked in imaginaries of LGBTQ parenthood. Chapter 4 by Doris Leibetseder takes up the issue of ‘Precarious bodily performances in queer and transgender reproduction with ART’ to explore the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) by queer and transgender people and how they have to perform particular bodily and intimate selves in the processes of seeking bodily interventions in relation to their fertility. She argues that the

in Bodily interventions and intimate labour
Transnational commercial surrogacy in Thailand
Elina Nilsson

. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) was quickly accepted in Thai society, as it was associated with modernity, a patriotic pride in Thai science and medicine, as well as with Buddhist beliefs of merit-making ( tam boon ) and a celebration of life and procreation (Whittaker, 2016 : 71). Since then, prospective parents from all over the world, typically from Australia, have sought in vitro fertilization (IVF) services in Thailand and the country has become known for its sophisticated medical infrastructure and expertise at comparatively affordable prices. Until 2015

in Bodily interventions and intimate labour