Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective by Tine M. Gammeltoft

By Tine M. Gammeltoft

In response to years of cautious ethnographic fieldwork in Hanoi, Haunting photographs deals a frank and compassionate account of the ethical quandaries that accompany ideas in biomedical expertise. on the middle of the ebook are case stories of thirty pregnant ladies whose fetuses have been classified “abnormal” after an ultrasound exam. by way of following those ladies and their kinfolk via painful strategies of reproductive determination making, Tine M. Gammeltoft bargains intimate ethnographic insights into lifestyle in modern Vietnam and a cosmopolitan theoretical exploration of ways subjectivities are cast within the face of ethical exams and demands.

Across the globe, ultrasonography and different applied sciences for prenatal screening provide potential mom and dad new details and current them with agonizing judgements by no means confronted long ago. For anthropologists, this diagnostic strength increases very important questions about individuality and collectivity, accountability and selection. Arguing for extra sustained anthropological realization to human quests for belonging, Haunting photographs addresses existential questions of affection and loss that obstacle us all.

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8 The consequence is inequity. 9 For health care providers, the underfunding of the health sector creates strong incentives to gain additional income through the supply of revenue-generating services; and ultrasonography is, as Dr. 10 Prenatal ultrasounds are offered by private ob-gyn clinics as well as by public health institutions; in the rapidly expanding health care market that had emerged in Hanoi by the time of our fieldwork, not only 2D but also 3D and 4D scans were offered. 00; for a 3D scan US$5–6; and for a 4D scan US$13–20.

In this book, I seek to bring Western debates about prenatal screening into engagement with the concerns expressed by individuals and state authorities in Vietnam. In doing so, I have tried to find a mode of writing that allows me to frame the issues in a way that is close to how they were represented by people in Hanoi, rather than forcing them into the frameworks of interpretation established by public debates in Europe and North America. The chapters that follow are therefore structured largely according to the questions that the people I met in Hanoi struggled with.

29 20 | Introduction Seen in this perspective, pregnancy care becomes an ethical practice through which both maternal and fetal subjectivities are produced. Although I too see pregnancy care as a matter of subjectivity formation, my experiences in Vietnam have compelled me to interpret my material along other lines than those laid out by Michel Foucault and his followers. 30 Although they certainly indicated that they found themselves in an acutely painful situation of choice, the prospective parents I met in Hanoi did not represent the decision they faced as a matter of freedom.

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