Psychosocial discourse and the "new" reproductive technologies : a critical analysis

Master Thesis

1989

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University of Cape Town

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The "new" reproductive technologies (NRTs) have gathered substantial momentum in recent years. 'Psychological' discourse on these techniques has tended towards uncritical preoccupation with intra-individual, constitutional factors, and has ignored the sociocultural, political and economic contexts of these practices. Within an inter-disciplinary, social-constructionist framework, this study presents a feminist critique of the NRTs in which they are argued to be biopsychosocially noxious to women. Modern biomedicine's appropriation and ownership of infertility as "disease" is argued to be consistent with the agendas of capitalism and patriarchy. Results of fieldwork within a particular medical setting are presented to develop a hermeneutic of the discursive interface between medical gatekeepers and the applicant 'patients' with whom they negotiate treatment. In a concluding section a dominant theme in gatekeepers' talk, "the well-being of the child", is ideologically analyzed; women-centered strategies are briefly discussed; and implications for the interface between psychology and reproductive technology are drawn.
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Bibliography: leaves 47-53.

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