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Cutting In-operable Bodies: Particularizing rural sociality to normalize hysterectomies in Balochistan, Pakistan


Towghi, Fouzieyha (2012). Cutting In-operable Bodies: Particularizing rural sociality to normalize hysterectomies in Balochistan, Pakistan. Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, 31(3):229-248.

Abstract

Drawing on 15 months of ethnographic research in Balochistan, Pakistan (2005–2006), I explore Panjguri midwives’ (dïnabogs, kawwās, or balloks) narrative links between routine injections of prostaglandins around childbirth and the increasing number of hysterectomies. These techno-medical interventions reflect the postcolonial biomedicalization of women's bodies and reproductive health care, and are reinforced by shifts in Pakistan's public health policy against maternal mortality in a context where about 90 percent of births occur outside of hospitals. Transnational campaigns against maternal mortality further biomedicalize women's lives. Interviews with doctors, midwives, and women, and analysis of women's experiences, illustrate the practical considerations that were used to normalize radical hysterectomies over less invasive procedures.

Abstract

Drawing on 15 months of ethnographic research in Balochistan, Pakistan (2005–2006), I explore Panjguri midwives’ (dïnabogs, kawwās, or balloks) narrative links between routine injections of prostaglandins around childbirth and the increasing number of hysterectomies. These techno-medical interventions reflect the postcolonial biomedicalization of women's bodies and reproductive health care, and are reinforced by shifts in Pakistan's public health policy against maternal mortality in a context where about 90 percent of births occur outside of hospitals. Transnational campaigns against maternal mortality further biomedicalize women's lives. Interviews with doctors, midwives, and women, and analysis of women's experiences, illustrate the practical considerations that were used to normalize radical hysterectomies over less invasive procedures.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:790 Sports, games & entertainment
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:07 Mar 2013 11:28
Last Modified:19 May 2016 07:15
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0145-9740
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2011.623488

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