Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Medical Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students
Primary Theme: Health
Secondary Theme: Inequality
This panel explores how the particularities of place impact the experiences and outcomes of pregnancy, motherhood, and child-rearing. Of special interest are the ways in which anthropologists use ethnographic methods to investigate how oppressive constraints and processes (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) impact the reproductive process and are sometimes territorialized in the U.S. While most health indicators for women, infants and children are improving world-wide, maternal and child health inequities persist and thrive in many U.S. settings. Anthropologists, drawing on concepts such as stratified reproduction (Ginsburg and Rapp 1995) and embodied history (Fassin 2007), have examined the ways in which place, race, gender, and class intersect to undermine women’s ability to reproduce and nurture children, especially women of color living in urban environments (Bridges 2011; Mullings 1995; Roberts 1998). An examination of U.S. urban or rural life will expand our understanding of the ways in which motherhood--from pregnancy to child-rearing--is differentially experienced. This panel seeks to advance theorizing on how social processes and place intersect to shape motherhood and child well-being.