Accepted Paper:

Personal stories of infertility and assisted reproduction: What is shared and what is kept to oneself  

Author:

Aglaia Chatjouli (University of the Aegean)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing from ethnographic research in Greece this paper discusses the decisions made by involved parties to share or not experiences of infertility and ARTs, further pointing to the local mediation of novel technologies and the reconceptualization of (in)fertility, parenthood and childnessness

Paper long abstract:

Within experiences of infertility and medically assisted reproduction different kinds of personal narratives, relevant stories regarding experiences of kin and friends, pieces of information on specific difficulties and on different technologies, memories of failed or successful attempts, are either spoken or kept private according to contexts. This presentation draws from ongoing ethnographic research on assisted reproduction in Greece and aims to discuss and problematize the nature of the decision making process made by the involved parties (women, men, couples, kin and close friends) to share or not their experiences of infertility and assisted reproduction. Modes of relating to the biosocial embodied and gendered self, to technological promises and dilemmas, to close kin, family and the proximal other, to the reflective temporality of experience; all seem to organize the particularities and levels of disclosing reproductive challenges. By focusing on the travelling of personal experience the author wishes to reveal the underlying assumptions framing the local mediation of novel reproductive technologies as well as the changing cultural patterns organizing the conceptualization of infertility(ies), reproduction, motherhood, fatherhood and childnessness. Furthermore, this is taking place in an era where the personal is easily channeled to public spaces and where medical information is negotiated in nonmedical socialities both on local and transnational levels.

Panel P094
Alliances, networks, and oppositions: the transnational circulation of medical reproductive technologies