Book Cover

The Politics of Reproduction

Adoption, Abortion, and Surrogacy in the Age of Neoliberalism

Edited by Modhumita Roy and Mary Thompson

270pp. 6 x 9
4 illustrations
Pub Date: October, 2019

Subjects: Gender & Sexuality Studies
American Studies
Cultural Studies
Race & Ethnic Studies

Series: Formations: Adoption, Kinship, and Culture

order Hardcover $139.95   ISBN 978-0-8142-1415-2
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The Politics of Reproduction is admirably interdisciplinary and adds much to critical thinking about reproduction and reproductive labor, substantially advancing debates over reproduction in neoliberal times.” —Asha Nadkarni, American Literary History

“Modhumita Roy and Mary Thompson have thematically married twelve impactful and unique essays that bring the stories of actual and fictional women to life.” —Vorathep (Vardev) Sachdev, International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics

“We can only fully understand any one of three contested sites of reproduction (abortion, adoption, and surrogacy) by considering all three in conversation with each other. By addressing all three activities as parts of a collective whole, the editors illuminate important ways that reproduction operates in today’s global world.” —Abigail L. Palko

“This volume works together wonderfully to show us how the notion of ‘choice’ works in the context of the transnational force of neoliberalism and other inequalities to make some people’s reproduction less free, to produce reproduction that is more, not less, stratified.” —Laura Briggs

The Politics of Reproduction: Adoption, Abortion and Surrogacy in the Age of Neoliberalism uniquely brings together three sites of reproduction and reproductive politics to demonstrate their entanglement in creating or restricting options for family-making. The original essays in this collection—which draw from a wide range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives—are attentive to neoliberalism’s reshaping of economies and intimacies to better understand the politics of reproduction. By looking at particular instances (surrogacy in Mexico, forced sterilization in Peru, and racialized biopolitics in post-Katrina Mississippi, among other sites), The Politics of Reproduction focuses on the effects of a radically altered economic landscape on individual choice-making. As a whole, the volume critically engages the question of choice to better understand the costs of a political and ideological climate that encourages, even demands, individual solutions to intractable social problems. Whose choices are amplified in the use of new biomedical technologies and assisted reproduction? Why and how are we discouraged from understanding the economic motivations behind the “choice” to surrender a baby for adoption or to become a surrogate or to seek an abortion? Attentive to the historical, cultural, and ideological conjunctures of reproductive politics, The Politics of Reproduction makes a distinctive contribution to feminist analyses of the specific challenges posed by neoliberalism to reproductive possibilities, politics, and justice in the contemporary moment.

Modhumita Roy is Associate Professor at Tufts University. Mary Thompson is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at James Madison University.


            Modhumita Roy and Mary Thompson
Chapter 1        Precarity and Disaster in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones: A Reproductive Justice Reading
            Mary Thompson
Chapter 2        Privileging God the Father: The Neoliberal Theology of the Evangelical Orphan Care Movement
            Valerie A. Stein
Chapter 3        White Futures: Reproduction and Labor in Neoliberal Times
            Heather Mooney
Chapter 4        One Woman’s Choice Is Another Woman’s Disobedience: Seguro Popular and Threats to Midwifery in Mexico
            Rosalynn Vega
Chapter 5        The Work/Life Equation: Notes toward De-Privatizing the Maternal
            Zarena Aslami
Chapter 6        The Angel in the McMansion: Female Citizenship and Fetal Personhood in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Juno
            Diana York Blaine
Chapter 7        “Masters of Their Own Destiny”: Women’s Rights and Forced Sterilizations in Peru
            Julieta Chaparro-Buitrago
Chapter 8        It’s All Biopolitics: A Feminist Response to the Disability Rights Critique of Prenatal Testing
            Karen Weingarten
Chapter 9        Commodification Anxiety and the Making of American Families in a State-Contracted Adoption and Foster Care Program
            Melissa Hardesty
Chapter 10      “It’s Your Choice, But . . .”: Paradoxes of Neoliberal Reproduction for Indigenous Women in Oaxaca, Mexico
            Becca Howes-Mischel
Chapter 11      The Globalization of Assisted Reproduction: Vulnerability and Regulation
            Rachel Anne Fenton
Chapter 12      Dangerous Desires and Abjected Lives: Baby-Hunger, Coerced Surrogacy, and Family-Making in Michael Robotham’s The Night Ferry
            Modhumita Roy
List of Contributors