'Precious cargo': risk and reproductive citizenship

Deborah Lupton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    230 Citations (Scopus)
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    In the interests of promoting the health and wellbeing of their foetuses, pregnant women are subject to imperatives which expect them to engage in an intense ascetic regime of self-regulation and disciplining of their bodies. This review article draws upon scholarship from the humanities and social sciences on pregnancy, foetal personhood and risk to explain why, at this particular moment in the history of western societies, pregnant women and their foetuses are such potent focal points for regulation, monitoring and control. It is argued that in recent years the foetus has become fetishised as a precious body to the exclusion of the pregnant woman's needs and rights. Biomedical technologies have played an important role in the construction of the contemporary foetal body and the meanings which surround it, as have the discourses and practices of neoliberal politics and risk society
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)329-340
    Number of pages12
    JournalCritical Public Health
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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