On the Threshold of the Living Subject: Pregnancy, Risk and by Lorna Weir

By Lorna Weir

Ordinarily, Euroamerican cultures have thought of that human prestige used to be conferred on the end to childbirth. although, in modern Euroamerican biomedicine, legislation and politics, the dwelling topic is usually claimed to pre-exist delivery. during this interesting booklet Lorna Weir argues that the displacement of delivery because the threshold of the dwelling topic all started within the Fifties with the radical inspiration of ‘perinatal mortality’ touching on dying of both the foetus or the baby simply sooner than, in the course of or after beginning. Weir’s booklet provides a brand new feminist method of being pregnant in complex modernity concentrating on the governance of inhabitants. She strains the advent of the perinatal threshold into baby welfare and tort legislation via specialist testimony on foetal chance, sketching the conflict at legislation among the delivery and perinatal thresholds of the dwelling topic. Her ebook makes unique empirical and theoretical contributions to the heritage of the current (Foucauldian research), feminism, and social stories of chance, and he or she conceptualizes a brand new old concentration for the heritage of the current: the edge of the residing topic. Calling cognizance to the importance of inhabitants politics, specially the relief of boy or girl mortality, for the unsettling of the delivery threshold, this e-book argues that chance concepts are heterogeneous, contested with services, and plural of their political results. Interview learn with midwives indicates their serious relation to utilizing hazard evaluation in medical perform. An unique and available research, this publication might be of serious curiosity to scholars and researchers throughout many disciplines.

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Extra info for On the Threshold of the Living Subject: Pregnancy, Risk and Vital Politics (Transformations: Thinking Through Feminism)

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The autopsy reports of the 1920s and early 1930s A genealogy of perinatal mortality 41 provided a gruesome litany of unnecessary stillbirths and neonatal deaths caused by poor obstetrical management of childbirth; this was the heyday of high forceps delivery. One indication of the changing status of stillbirths is provided in the recollections of John Ballantyne at the annual meeting of the British Medical Association in 1922. Ballantyne (1922) compared the current session on the theme of “stillbirths and neonatal deaths” with the session on “intrauterine death” that he had attended in 1888, noting a number of differences.

Other historians of the present (Ewald 2002: Ericson and Doyle 2004: 212–283) have examined the governance of “terrorism” and major disasters such as nuclear power plant explosions and the unintended release of genetically recombinant infectious pathogens. Through the precautionary principle, the governance of incalculable uncertainty attempts to pre-empt risk. The governance of risk and uncertainty interact at the perinatal threshold, with risk continually and unstably reconfigured as uncertainty.

The perinatal threshold unsettled the birth threshold in the name of optimizing population at the entry to human life. The analysis of risk-based prenatal care provided here is pertinent both to foucauldian scholarship on risk governance and to feminist scholarship on the fetus. With respect to the history of the present, this account shows the invention within the health complex of a risk technique beyond insurance: clinical risk, which involves screening populations and affixing risk classifications to the bodies of persons.

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