Learning from infertility: gender, health inequities and faith healers in women's experiences of disrupted reproduction in Rajasthan

Unnithan, Maya (2010) Learning from infertility: gender, health inequities and faith healers in women's experiences of disrupted reproduction in Rajasthan. South Asian History and Culture, 1 (2). pp. 315-327. ISSN 1947-2498

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Abstract

Infertility is a neglected area of public health in India despite the significant implications it has for the health of poor women. It is also less prominent in social science research due to its characterization as a biomedical problem. On the contrary, as suggested in this article, a focus on infertility provides important insights into the gendering of reproductive identity and the ways in which power is exercised by the family, religion, state and health personnel. Building upon recent studies of infertility as 'lived experience' elsewhere in the world, the article demonstrates that emic and situated meanings of gender, body and self as become apparent in local discourse on infertility in India are important for social theory as well as health policy. Focusing on individual agency and the social meaning of infertility the article critically evaluates the therapeutic intervention of faith healers to suggest ways in which local healers enable women to distance themselves from gender inequities in reproduction at the same time as they reaffirm them.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Maya Unnithan
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:07
Last Modified: 24 May 2012 13:55
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10418
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