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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



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This title in other editions

Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam

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Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"This deeply moving and path-breaking ethnography takes us to the social crossroads of global medicine in post-war Vietnam. Here struggles over belonging and value are part and parcel of haunting histories of loss and become the very fabric of visceral conceptual work.” —João Biehl, author of Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment

"In this beautifully crafted ethnography of intense pregnancy sonograms, Tine Gammeltoft reveals screen fetuses that stand at complex historical and cultural intersections.  At once biological and cosmological, their haunting images are constructed where public health commitments, gendered and kinship decision-making, religious traditions, and the half-life of Agent Orange all meet.  This is the first full-length study of sonography in a developing-nation context and a must-read for anyone who wants to know what lies beyond individual 'choice' in the use of a selective reproductive technology." —Rayna Rapp, Professor of Anthropology, New York University

"This is a luminous, compassionate book about complex moral dilemmas facing Vietnamese women and families who receive a diagnosis of fetal abnormality late in pregnancy. Reading this book was a powerful, humbling experience. Gammeltoft courageously shows us that there are other perspectives that must be considered, reminding us in this age of neoliberal subject-making that parents-to-be are also charged with fulfilling genealogical, spiritual, and national responsibilities. Belonging and longing are linked in this narrative, as people yearn for futures (and pasts) other than those they receive."—Lynn M. Morgan, Mount Holyoke College, author of Icons of Life: A Cultural History of Human Embryos (University of California Press, 2009).

"Haunting Images focuses on difficult moral decisions, on questions of belonging and on what constitutes a human being. Gammeltoft brings us a nuanced understanding of the lived texture of life in Vietnam today. This ethnography is delicate, sensitive, loving, and complex, faithful to the tone of the people and the place and to the ambiguities of life. The issues raised in Vietnam confront us all."—Diane Fox, Senior Lecturer of Anthropology and Vietnamese Studies, College of the Holy Cross

Synopsis:

"In this beautifully crafted ethnography of intense pregnancy sonograms, Tine Gammeltoft reveals screen fetuses that stand at complex historical and cultural intersections.  At once biological and cosmological, their haunting images are constructed where public health commitments, gendered and kinship decision-making, religious traditions, and the half-life of Agent Orange all meet.  This is the first full-length study of sonography in a developing-nation context and a must-read for anyone who wants to know what lies beyond individual 'choice' in the use of a selective reproductive technology." —Rayna Rapp, Professor of Anthropology, New York University

Synopsis:

Based on years of careful ethnographic fieldwork in Hanoi, Haunting Images offers a frank and compassionate account of the moral quandaries that accompany innovations in biomedical technology. At the center of the book are case studies of thirty pregnant women whose fetuses were labeled “abnormal” after an ultrasound examination. By following these women and their relatives through painful processes of reproductive decision making, Tine M. Gammeltoft offers intimate ethnographic insights into everyday life in contemporary Vietnam and a sophisticated theoretical exploration of how subjectivities are forged in the face of moral assessments and demands.

Across the globe, ultrasonography and other technologies for prenatal screening offer prospective parents new information and present them with agonizing decisions never faced in the past. For anthropologists, this diagnostic capability raises important questions about individuality and collectivity, responsibility and choice. Arguing for more sustained anthropological attention to human quests for belonging, Haunting Images addresses existential questions of love and loss that concern us all.

About the Author

Tine M. Gammeltoft is Professor of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. She is on the Editorial Advisory Board for the journal Reproductive Health Matters.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Prologue: Haunting Decisions

Introduction: Choice as Belonging

1. Sonographic Imaging and Selective Reproduction in Hanoi

2. A Collectivizing Biopolitics

3. Precarious Maternal Belonging

4. “Like a Loving Mother”: Moral Engagements in Medical Worlds

5. “How Have We Lived?” Accounting for Reproductive Misfortune

6. Beyond Knowledge: Everyday Encounters with Disability

7. Questions of Conscience

Conclusion: Toward an Anthropology of Belonging

Appendix: Core Cases

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520278424
Author:
Gammeltoft, Tine M.
Publisher:
University of California Press
Author:
Gammeltoft, Tine M
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
anthropology;cultural anthropology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20140231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 b/w photographs
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Ethics
Travel » General

Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam New Hardcover
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$76.25 In Stock
Product details 336 pages University of California Press - English 9780520278424 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"In this beautifully crafted ethnography of intense pregnancy sonograms, Tine Gammeltoft reveals screen fetuses that stand at complex historical and cultural intersections.  At once biological and cosmological, their haunting images are constructed where public health commitments, gendered and kinship decision-making, religious traditions, and the half-life of Agent Orange all meet.  This is the first full-length study of sonography in a developing-nation context and a must-read for anyone who wants to know what lies beyond individual 'choice' in the use of a selective reproductive technology." —Rayna Rapp, Professor of Anthropology, New York University
"Synopsis" by ,
Based on years of careful ethnographic fieldwork in Hanoi, Haunting Images offers a frank and compassionate account of the moral quandaries that accompany innovations in biomedical technology. At the center of the book are case studies of thirty pregnant women whose fetuses were labeled “abnormal” after an ultrasound examination. By following these women and their relatives through painful processes of reproductive decision making, Tine M. Gammeltoft offers intimate ethnographic insights into everyday life in contemporary Vietnam and a sophisticated theoretical exploration of how subjectivities are forged in the face of moral assessments and demands.

Across the globe, ultrasonography and other technologies for prenatal screening offer prospective parents new information and present them with agonizing decisions never faced in the past. For anthropologists, this diagnostic capability raises important questions about individuality and collectivity, responsibility and choice. Arguing for more sustained anthropological attention to human quests for belonging, Haunting Images addresses existential questions of love and loss that concern us all.

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