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Accepted Paper:

Expertise in hope: assisted reproduction as investment for the future  
Venetia Kantsa (University of the Aegean)

Paper long abstract:

In his book The Enigma of the Gift Maurice Godelier (1998) has argued that in every society there is always something that cannot be bought, donated or exchanged and he asserted that in modern capitalist market economies persons are the ones who are considered to be "sacred" and cannot be bought or given out; they only belong to their owners in order to sustain their identities. However, at the same time, an ever growing stock of "bought or given out" frozen human genetic material -sperms, eggs, and tissues- emerges which performs as a "stock market" to the extent that its main purpose is future investment. Drawing on ethnographic research in contemporary Greece I aim to explore the role of medical and legal experts as agents of hope and examine whether the notion of an autonomous subjectivity that is strongly connected to the right of negotiating and choosing "life" investments enhances the expertise of doctors and lawyers beyond their strict profession.

Panel W107
The expert's voice: marketable discourses on choice and risk management
  Session 1