Embodying Culture: Pregnancy in Japan and Israel (Studies in Medical Anthropology)

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Embodying Culture is an ethnographically grounded exploration of pregnancy in two different cultures—Japan and Israel—both of which medicalize pregnancy. Tsipy Ivry focuses on "low-risk" or "normal" pregnancies, using cultural comparison to explore the complex relations among ethnic ideas about procreation, local reproductive politics, medical models of pregnancy care, and local modes of maternal agency.

The ethnography pieces together the voices of pregnant Japanese and Israeli women, their doctors, their partners, the literature they read, and depicts various clinical encounters such as ultrasound scans, explanatory classes for amniocentesis, birthing classes, and special pregnancy events.

The emergent pictures suggest that athough experiences of pregnancy in Japan and Israel differ, pregnancy in both cultures is an energy-consuming project of meaning-making— suggesting that the sense of biomedical technologies are not only in the technologies themselves but are assigned by those who practice and experience them.

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"Embodying Culture" is an ethnographically grounded exploration of pregnancy in two different cultures--Japan and Israel--both of which medicalize pregnancy. Tsipy Ivry focuses on "low-risk" or "normal" pregnancies, using cultural comparison to explore the complex relations among ethnic ideas about procreation, local reproductive politics, medical models of pregnancy care, and local modes of maternal agency.

About the Author:

Tsipy Ivry is a lecturer in anthropology at the department of sociology and anthropology at the University of Haifa, Israel.

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