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"Good Work for Good Mothers":: Commercial Surrogate Motherhood, Femininity and Morality
2016 (English)In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no Special Issue, 5-13 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on ethnographic fieldwork among women acting as commercial surrogates in Mumbai, India, this paper explores how the surrogates motivated and made meaningful their decision to enter surrogacy. I challenge at once the neoliberal image of commercial surrogacy as a “win-win” situation that portrays surrogacy as the pursuit of individual self-interest by autonomous actors and gives a simplistic notion of surrogates as hapless victims of global capitalist “exploitation”. I argue that the women engaged in active and conscious decision processes, negotiating and reconceptualising surrogate motherhood and motherhood in general with reference to key aspects of traditional gender relations and feminine morality, such as submissiveness, sexual virtue and self-sacrifice. As such, commercial surrogacy exemplifies how globalisation contributes to new understandings and conceptualisations of gender and family, yet still in close dialogue with local gendered power relations and ideology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2016. no Special Issue, 5-13 p.
Keyword [en]
Commercial surrogacy, India, reproduction, gender, family
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-4915OAI: oai:DiVA.org:norden-4915DiVA: diva2:1120043
Available from: 2017-07-05 Created: 2017-07-05 Last updated: 2017-11-29

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http://www.asiainfocus.dk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/KRISTIN-ENGH-F%C3%98RDE.pdf
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Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers
Social Sciences

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