Pregnancy. For many women it is an exhilarating period of their lives. Having already made the decision to conceive, now women are confronted with a more encumbering choice, one riddled with emotional and moral implications: the option to test the health of their fetus prior to birth.
Rayna Rapp, one of the leading feminist anthropologists in the United States, explores the complex and contradictory nature of prenatal diagnosis and its social impact and cultural meaning through the narratives of the people who have experienced it. Rich with the voices and stories of participants, these touching, firsthand accounts examine how women of diverse racial, ethnic, class and religious backgrounds perceive prenatal testing, the most prevalent and routinized of the new reproducing technologies. This Pandora's box of moral issues has prompted complex questions, such as: What do women want and not want from technology in pregnancy? What conditions are "worth" an abortion? How do women receiving a "bad" diagnosis cope with their ultimate decisions?
Based on the author's decade of research and her own personal experiences with amniocentesis, "Testing Women, Testing the Fetus" explores the "geneticization" of family life in all its complexity and diversity.
..."this is a wonderful book, ranging far beyond "mere" amniocentesis....Rayna Rapp has created a biting and sometimes humorous commentary abot how medical and scientific information is disseminated, absorbed and acted upon....Rapp tells a fascinating story about amniocentesis as social process, exploring the topic from historical, cultural and linguistic perspectives....One of the most refreshing things about the book is its readability. The personal narrative weaves a web of experience that the reader immediately shares."
-"The Women's Review of Books
"By observing genetic counselors at work and talking to families raising children with disabilities, [Rapp] discovers the practical problems connecte with testing and the different responses to pregnancy, family life, and disability in diverse ethnic groups and social classes."
"Rapp's deep analysis is relevant to women of every ethnic, religious and class background and asks the necessary questions preceding each potentially difficult choice."
"[A] monumental and challenging study....[a] rigorous illumination of both the scientific and the social practices of amniocentesis. So impressive is this achievement, indeed, that I think it possible to say that "Testing Women, Testing the Fetus may provide us with a model of intellectual deportment that anthropologists, genetic counselors, medical professionals, bioethicists, research scientists, and even cultural critics -- yes them too -- will do well to acknowledge and emulate."
-Michael Berube, "Tikkun
"If you like to know everything about a subject before making a decision--and you're facing an amnio--you'll get support andinformation from "Testing Women, Testing the Fetus. . . Rapp . . . shares a wide variety of compelling human stories that are rarely told."
-"Colorado Parent, Feb. 2000
Series: The Anthropology of Everyday Life
Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 376
Published: 4th August 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.51
Weight (kg): 0.77
Edition Number: 1