Conceptions: Infertility and Procreative Technologies in India | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Conceptions: Infertility and Procreative Technologies in India

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Volume 34

Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives

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Infertility and Procreative Technologies in India

Aditya Bharadwaj

312 pages, 2 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-230-2 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (August 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-231-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This book is undoubtedly a valuable contribution to the emerging ethnographies from non-Western settings on assisted conception. It is also a pertinent reminder of the significance of religion in understanding the local variations in both managing and making sense of assisted conception. With its comparative gaze, it provides an important mirror, challenging Western assumptions.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI)

“This book is the first ethnography on infertility in India focusing on people’s cultural-religious experience with assisted reproductive technology and overall reveals valuable infertility experiences in India and the interactions between various players in the politics of conception and, thus, is an important source for future research on this topic.” • Anthropos

“At once a history, theodicy, and ethnography of procreative technologies in India, Bharadwaj’s lyrically written Conceptions provides a much-needed antidote to Western-centric narratives of India’s fertility markets. Bharadwaj draws on and develops the concepts of misrecognition and stigma to describe the ways patients and their families and physicians navigate infertility, surrogacy, gamete donation, and adoption in complexly gendered, classed, and generational ways in a country torn between population control and pronatalism in which science and religion are co-conspirators. I thoroughly recommend this fine book.” Charis Thompson, University of California Berkeley

“…this is a much needed, eagerly anticipated and important book for those scholars who work within the broad field of social studies of reproduction, and specifically for those who study assisted reproductive technologies.” Ayo Wahlberg, University of Copenhagen

“Surely, the book will become a 'must' for research on any related field, in university classes at every level of study, as well as a delightful reading for anyone interested in India, childbirth and infertility or the politics of healthcare, to mention but few.” Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli, University of Haifa


Infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in India lie at the confluence of multiple cultural conceptions. These ‘conceptions’ are key to understanding the burgeoning spread of assisted reproductive technologies and the social implications of infertility and childlessness in India. This longitudinal study is situated in a number of diverse locales which, when taken together, unravel the complex nature of infertility and assisted conception in contemporary India.

Aditya Bharadwaj is Research Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.

Subject: Medical Anthropology
Area: Asia


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