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Imaginaries of a laparoscope: power, convenience, and sterilization in rural India

Fiks, Eva

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Abstract

Laparoscopic tubal ligation is the most prevalent method of contraception amongst India's rural and urban poor. Drawing on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in rural Rajasthan in 2012-2013, this paper investigates how rural women's perceptions of a biomedical instrument-the laparoscope-influence their perceptions of sterilization, a procedure often entrenched in coercive, target- and incentive-driven population control programme. By investigating how a laparoscope is entangled in global exchanges, national policies, institutional arrangements, and local moral worlds, this paper demonstrates that while wider biomedical discourses perpetuate the narrative of safety and convenience, people's everyday lives inform their understandings of technology that is widely known but rarely seen.

Citation

Fiks, E. (2023). Imaginaries of a laparoscope: power, convenience, and sterilization in rural India. Anthropology and Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1080/13648470.2022.2152634

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 8, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 16, 2023
Publication Date Jan 2, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2023
Journal Anthropology & Medicine
Print ISSN 1364-8470
Publisher Routledge
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13648470.2022.2152634
Keywords India, imaginaries, laparoscope, sterilization, reproductive technology
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13648470.2022.2152634

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