Accepted Paper:

Minority Women and Making Use of Government Regulated Reproductive Technologies  


Safak Kilictepe (Indiana University )

Paper short abstract:

Regulations of and experiences with in vitro fertilization (IVF) reflect states’ ideologies, their approach to different groups, and definition of ideals. This paper examines the relationship between political religion, IVF technology, and infertile minority women’s negotiations their reproduction.

Paper long abstract:

The concepts in and around race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and class play role in determining which bodies, bodily categories and lives are recognized and made to matter and which are not. Science and technology scholars has long illustrated that the emergence of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) has opened new windows for power holders to implement social regulations, control bodies, and attempt to re-define aforementioned concepts within and beyond their nations. This study aims to investigate if and how this is achieved through precarization by focusing on minorities' experiences with their infertility. This paper specifically examines how infertile women belonging to different groups define themselves and perform their identities in their politically changing environment in relation to government regulated reproductive technologies. This study is the result of preliminary and ongoing dissertation research that investigates how the relationship between in vitro fertilization (IVF), political Islam, and changing ethnic-minority status shapes the reproductive experiences and negotiations of infertile Sunni Kurdish women in Turkey. Because this research is multisited, this paper also compares and contrasts the role of IVF—that is regulated by the state by racialized discourse—in the definition of womanhood and in women's infertility experiences across time and space. Thus, this paper will also address to the question of how women living in overlapping pronatalist systems (state and societal) respond to and utilize the racialized reproductive technologies and collective state interests to fulfill their own reproductive needs.

Panel T166
Biotechnology, Personal Identity, and Boundaries Across the Globe