Fertility, Health and Reproductive Politics: Re-imagining Rights in India

1st Edition

Maya Unnithan

April 26, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 256 Pages - 9 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138610965 - CAT# K389107
Series: Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series


Add to Wish List
FREE Standard Shipping!


Set in the context of the processes and practices of human reproduction and reproductive health in Northern India, the book examines the institutional exercise of power by the state, caste and kin groups.

Drawing on ethnographic research over the past 18 years amongst poor Hindu and Muslim communities in Rajasthan and amongst development and health actors in the State, this book contributes to developing analytic perspectives on reproductive practice, agency and the body-self as particular and novel sites of a vital power and politic. Rajasthan has been amongst the poorest states in the country with high levels of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. The author closely examines how social and economic inequalities are produced and sustained in discursive and on-the-ground contexts of family-making, how authoritative knowledge and power in the domain of childbirth is exercised across a landscape of development institutions, how maternal health becomes a category of citizenship, how health-seeking is socially and emotionally determined and political in nature, how the health sector operates as a bio-political system, and how diverse moral claims over the fertile, infertile and reproductive body-self are asserted, contested and often realised.

A compelling analysis, the book offers both new empirical data and new theoretical insights. It draws together the practices, experiences and discourse on fertility and reproduction (childbirth, infertility, loss) in Northern India into an overarching analytical framework on power and gender politics. It will be of interest to academics in the fields of medical anthropology, medical sociology, public health, gender studies, human rights and socio-legal studies and South Asian Studies.

Share this Title