The sociocultural aspects of assisted reproduction in Mexico

González-Santos, Sandra P (2011) The sociocultural aspects of assisted reproduction in Mexico. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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Assisted reproduction (AR) became available in Mexico during the mid eighties. Since
then, the AR industry has developed and flourished within a context of little regulation,
considerable media coverage and an increasing number of consumers. As part of this
process, terms such as 'assisted reproduction', 'infertility, ‘eligible AR users’ and
‘qualified AR service provider’ have required definitions. Through four years of multisited
ethnographic work at clinics, conferences and online forums, and by analysing
media coverage and legal debates around infertility I have charted the introduction and
development of AR, and I have tried to understand the process of its assimilation and
(re)construction within the Mexican setting. The organisation of this thesis reflects the
dynamic complexity with which the different actors have constructed the Mexican AR
arena. The thesis begins with a description of the theoretical framework and the
methodological rationale, followed by a genealogical analysis of Mexican AR focusing
on the elements that made its adoption possible, the transformation of gynaecologists
into AR specialists, the establishment of AR clinics and services, and the emergence of
two new types of AR specialist: the andrologist and the AR biologist. I then analyse the
way AR is framed as a paranatural procedure that imitates nature while simultaneously
going beyond it and examine the elements that make up what the community of AR
specialists suggest are the major causes for infertility: ‘the age factor’ and ‘the male
factor’. Finally, I describe the pilgrimage AR users embark on in search of parenthood
and their quest for information and support. Understanding the process by which AR
has been assimilated and transformed in the Mexican context sheds light on the way
techno-science is (re)constructed when it arrives in new settings. In addition, this
knowledge has the potential to inform local medical and social practices, and
regulatory frameworks in the field.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General) > F1203.49 Mexico
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics > RG0133 Conception. Artificial insemination. Contraception
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2011 09:28
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2015 13:35

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