This book is all about reproductive genetics, a sociological concept developed to define the use of DNA-based technologies in the medical management and supervision of reproduction and pregnant women. In a searching analysis, Elizabeth Ettorre uncovers the hidden social processes involved in the development of these technologies.
Focussing on prenatal screening, she explores how the key concepts of gender and the body are intertwined with the process of building genetic knowledge and some of the unintended consequences for women. These include the injection of biology into social relationships and the development of a gendered discourse of shame and stigmatisation in which the perfect body becomes idealised and new conceptions of disability are shaped. It becomes clear that the modernist tradition of scientific disinterestedness is being replaced by a new ethic: the making of moral judgements by scientists.
Reproductive Genetics, Gender and the Body draws on interviews with European medical, legal and nursing professionals and raises important issues around the gendered, female body, the site of genetic capital. It challenges professional and scholar alike to grapple with and think through their responsibilities in this complex field where the competing issues have yet to be resolved.
Introduction: The Sociology of Reproductive Genetics: The Institutions of Reproductive and Gender and Genes in Bodies 1. Prenatal Politics and 'Normal Patients Families' 2. Biomedical Knowledge and Interests: Genetic Storytellers and Normative Strategies 3. Organisation of 'Genetics Work': Surveillance Medicine and Genetic Risk as a Novelty 4. Shaping Pregnant Bodies: Distorting Metaphors, Reproductive Asceticism and Genetic Capital 5. Gendered Bodies, The Discourse of Shame and 'Disablism' 6. Syncronizing Pregnant Bodies and Making Reproductive Time: Comparing Expert Claims in Greece, Netherlands, England and Finland 7. Reproductive Genetics and the Need for Embodied Ethics