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Global Fluids: The Cultural Politics of Reproductive Waste and Value

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Volume 39

Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives

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Global Fluids

The Cultural Politics of Reproductive Waste and Value

Charlotte Kroløkke

206 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-892-2 $120.00/£89.00 / Hb / Published (July 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-893-9 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - edit   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This book represents a timely, insightful, and valuable contribution to reproductive studies. It offers a good example of how to do interdisciplinary, comparative work that critically engages with both the contexts and the consequences of the global fertility industry, which is a booming and influential part of the contemporary economy that medical anthropologists would be unwise to ignore. Global Fluids provides a sophisticated understanding of how class, gender, race, and sexuality intersect in the global flows of reproductive substances…The work presented in this book would not only provide a useful and enlightening teaching tool, it could also help guide further research into other reproductive substances as various as breastmilk, culture media, and stem cells.” • Medical Anthropology Quarterly

“I found this book approachable and clearly written, with the cases Kroløkke presents from her ethnographic research adding illustrative context to her theoretical approaches… While clearly not a history, parts of Global Fluids could be used in a history of reproduction course or one on the history of the body as a way to encourage students to think about historical change and continuity regarding bodies and their products.” • Social History of Medicine

“This is sophisticated scholarship that offers original insights into notions of waste and value and their insertion into bio-industries. It is a highly readable, stimulating synthesis of current feminist cultural analysis.” • Andrea Whittaker, Monash University


In the fertility and cosmetics industries, women’s body products – such as urine, eggs, and placentas – have moved from being seen as waste to becoming valuable ingredients. Taking a sociological and anthropological perspective, the author focuses in particular on the role that countries like Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, and Japan play in the reproductive products industry, and discusses the moral limits of the cultural and rhetorical trajectories that turn women’s body products into internationally mobile substances.

Charlotte Kroløkke is a Professor in the Department for the Study of Culture at the University of Southern Denmark, with special responsibilities in cultural analyses of reproductive medicine. She has headed several interdisciplinary research projects on assisted reproduction and the fertility industry, and has published widely within the field of feminist communication and cultural analyses of reproduction.

Subject: Medical Anthropology Gender Studies and Sexuality Sociology


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