GGRC02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter week 8: Bioavailability, Condom, Reproductive Health

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5 Jul 2018
Surrogacy as embodied labour
-surrogate suse their body (womb) for income  surrogate’s body is appraised and
also represents an area for women to take control of their experiences
- marginazlied groups have historically provided most of the work that directly involves
the body
eg. Servants, slaves, women  this work is largely called reproductive and not
considered within the labour market
-sociology./ feminist scholoarship have paid little attention to the embodiment of paid
- even within post-modernism, attention moves away from engagement and more
towards philosophical conceptualizations of the body  eg. Body work: has less to do
with corporality of paid/unpaid wrk, refers more to techs of the self (eg. Dieting,
cosmetic surgery)
other examples are on sex work, nursing, professional massage
- body labour can’t fully capture the corporality of surrogacy as paid labour  but unlike
salon work, surrogates are deploying own bodies to deliver final product
diff. from normal labour b/c employer has no intrinsic interest in the body of the
surrogacy is extreme example of the manifestation of the worker embodiments,
where body is ultimate sign of labour
embodiment is living in the commodity produced
-embodied labour is used by Pande to capture uniqueness of surrogacy as a labor
involves a rental of own body for someone else where surrogate is the
site/reqource/requirement/arguably product
osurrogate can’t be > 40, smoke, have any miscarriage history, not more than
3 preg, can’t have sex with husband, stop regular work for entire period of
oalso involves repeatedly invasive tech (eg. Blood tests, medicines, vitamins)
and also has to agree to abort fetus, C-section etc.
- as hyper-medicalized body of surrogate becomes scrutinized, the surrogate retains
control over her body, but often reclaims control by using her body for labour
- 4 types of negotiations by women in this embodied form of labour:
1. Portrayal of surrogacy as “productive”
2. Re-negotiation of birth control decisions
3. Resistance to the C-section
Negotiating the nature of pre-natal/post-natal care
“My body pays the bills”: Surrogacy as productive motherhood
- Indian pop. Control programs promote small families  the official intention of this
propaganda is to “empower women” to make family planning decisions
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