God's Laboratory

God's Laboratory

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qAssisted reproduction, with its test tubes, injections, and gamete donors, often raises concerns about nature, life, and kinship. Yet these concerns do not take the same form everywhere. In this innovative ethnography of in vitro fertilization in a small South American country, Elizabeth Roberts shows that in Ecuador, having children through biotechnological intervention is not only accepted but even embraced. Roberts takes us into clinics, laboratories, and homes, providing a textured picture of the integration of these biotechnologies into Andean life, despite widespread poverty and official condemnation from the Catholic Church. Intimate portraits of patients, donors, and practitioners reveal profoundly different understandings of nature and bodies from those in the United States. The Andean understanding of the body as malleable resonates with cutting-edge theories of the material world put forth by contemporary scholars of science and technology. The Ecuadorian embrace of reproductive technology however is less a reflection of a desire to be qmodernq, than it is a product of colonial racial history, Catholic theologies, and kinship systems. This clearly written account offers a grounded introduction to debates in science studies and medical anthropology, as well as nuanced ethnography of the mingling of science, religion, and history in Andean family lifeq--The book s unforgettable characters and their desperate travails to reproduce via global medicine are the very fabric of a highly-original and much-needed social theory for our twenty-first century technological societies.

Title:God's Laboratory
Author: Elizabeth F. S. Roberts
Publisher:Univ of California Press - 2012

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