Synopses & Reviews
Despite the fact that, statistically, women of low socioeconomic status (SES) experience greater difficulty conceiving children, infertility is generally understood to be a wealthy, white woman’s issue. In Misconception
, Ann V. Bell overturns such historically ingrained notions of infertility by examining the experiences of poor women and women of color. These women, so the stereotype would have it, are simply too fertile. The fertility of affluent and of poor women is perceived differently, and these perceptions have political and social consequences, as social policies have entrenched these ideas throughout U.S. history. Through fifty-eight in-depth interviews with women of both high and low SES, Bell begins to break down the stereotypes of infertility and show how such depictions consequently shape women’s infertility experiences. Prior studies have relied solely on participants recruited from medical clinics—a sampling process that inherently skews the participant base toward wealthier white women with health insurance. In comparing class experiences, Misconception
goes beyond examining medical experiences of infertility to expose the often overlooked economic and classist underpinnings of reproduction, family, motherhood, and health in contemporary America. Watch a video with Ann V. Bell:
Watch video now. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz7qiPyuyiM).
"Misconception is a welcome addition to the growing field of the social scientific study of reproduction. Bell is an excellent writer and presents new ethnographic data that focuses on the role of social class in the social construction of infertility."
"Exceptionally well written and vigorously researched, Misconception challenges common understandings of infertility. Bell illustrates how stereotypes of who should be mothers affect women’s infertility experiences and exacerbate ingrained social-class inequalities. Misconception is sociological research at its best—a must read!"
andquot;This well-written and accessible book is free of jargon, and covers a sweeping variety of topics. The case studies are interesting and often moving; this book is a desperately needed and important step toward reconciling feminist views on breastfeeding.andquot;
andquot;Beyond Health, Beyond Choice
is a collection of 23 well-written and thoughtprovoking articles exploring a wide range of mother-related topics including race, class and culture, medicalization of breastfeeding support, marketing milk, guilt, media, and sexuality.andquot;
"Misconception provides a powerful collection of narratives of infertility across the socio-economic spectrum in America. Bell's work is an important contribution to medical social science."
In Misconception: Social Class and Infertility in America, Ann V. Bell overturns stereotypes of reproduction that frame poor women as too fertile and white, affluent women as not fertile enough by comparing experiences of infertility across socioeconomic groups. In comparing class experiences, Bell is able to go beyond just examining infertility. Misconception reveals the social, cultural, and economic forces surrounding reproduction, family, motherhood and health in contemporary America.
Beyond Health, Beyond Choice is a multidisciplinary collection of essays written by thirty-seven contributors that examines the role of feminist theory in the promotion of breastfeeding by public health authorities. Essays are arranged thematically and consider breastfeeding in relation to health care; work and family; embodiment (specifically breastfeeding in public); economic and ethnic factors; guilt; violence; and commercialization.
About the Author
PAIGE HALL SMITH is Associate Professor of Public Health Education and Director of the Center for Womenandrsquo;s Health and Wellness at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.and#160;
BERNICE L. HAUSMAN is Professor of English at Virginia Tech and the author of Motherandrsquo;s Milk: Breastfeeding Controversies in American Culture and Viral Mothers: Breastfeeding in the Age of HIV/AIDS.
MIRIAM LABBOK is Professor and Director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute in the Department of Maternal and Child Health in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
Part I Frames
1. Feminism and Breastfeeding
2. Breastfeeding Promotion through Gender Equity
3. Breastfeeding in Public Health
Part II Studying Breastfeeding across Race, Class, and Culture
4. Breastfeeding across Cultures
5. The Dangers of Baring the Breast:
6. Racism, Race, and Disparities in Breastfeeding
Part III Medical Institutions and Health Education
7. Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Shrinking Maternal Authority
8. New Professions and Old Practices
9. Preparing Women to Breastfeed
Part IV Roles and Realities
10. andldquo;Are We There Yet?andrdquo; Breastfeeding as a Gauge of Carework by Mothers
11. Breastfeeding and the Gendering of Infant Care
12. Working out Work
13. The Impact of Workplace Practices on Breastfeeding Experiences and Disparities among Women
Part V Making and Marketing Mothersandrsquo; Milk
14. Marketing Mothersandrsquo; Milk
15. Empowerment or Regulation?
Part VI Morality and Guilt
16. Feminist Breastfeeding Promotion and the Problem of Guilt
17. Breastfeeding in the Margins
Part VII Media and Popular Culture
18. Reinstating Pleasure in Reality
19. Breastfeeding in the andldquo;Baby Blockandrdquo;
20. Rethinking the Importance of Social Class
Part VIII Sexuality and Womenandrsquo;s Bodies
21. Breastfeeding in Public
22. Sexual or Maternal Breasts?
Notes on Contributors