Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America (The Anthropology of Everyday Life)

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9780415916448: Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America (The Anthropology of Everyday Life)
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Rich with the voices and stories of participants, these touching, firsthand accounts examine how women of diverse racial, ethnic, class and religious backgrounds perceive prenatal testing, the most prevalent and routinized of the new reproducing technologies. Based on the author's decade of research and her own personal experiences with amniocentesis, Testing Women, Testing the Fetus explores the "geneticization" of family life in all its complexity and diversity.

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About the Author:

Rayna Rapp is Professor of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research and has been active in the movements to establish U.S. women's studies and reproductive rights for more than twenty-five years. Rapp has researched prenatal diagnosis as an anthropologist and as a feminist activist for over a decade, and is editor of the classic Toward an Anthropology of Women (1975) and co-editor of Conceiving the New World Order (1995).

Review:

..."this is a wonderful book, ranging far beyond "mere" amniocentesis....Rayna Rapp has created a biting and sometimes humorous commentary abot how medical and scientific information is disseminated, absorbed and acted upon....Rapp tells a fascinating story about amniocentesis as social process, exploring the topic from historical, cultural and linguistic perspectives....One of the most refreshing things about the book is its readability. The personal narrative weaves a web of experience that the reader immediately shares."
-"The Women's Review of Books
"By observing genetic counselors at work and talking to families raising children with disabilities, [Rapp] discovers the practical problems connecte with testing and the different responses to pregnancy, family life, and disability in diverse ethnic groups and social classes."
-"Library Journal
"Rapp's deep analysis is relevant to women of every ethnic, religious and class background and asks the necessary questions preceding each potentially difficult choice."
-"Daily News
"[A] monumental and challenging study....[a] rigorous illumination of both the scientific and the social practices of amniocentesis. So impressive is this achievement, indeed, that I think it possible to say that "Testing Women, Testing the Fetus may provide us with a model of intellectual deportment that anthropologists, genetic counselors, medical professionals, bioethicists, research scientists, and even cultural critics -- yes them too -- will do well to acknowledge and emulate."
-Michael Berube, "Tikkun
"If you like to know everything about a subject before making a decision--and you're facing an amnio--you'll get support andinformation from "Testing Women, Testing the Fetus. . . Rapp . . . shares a wide variety of compelling human stories that are rarely told."
-"Colorado Parent, Feb. 2000

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