Interpreting IVF from a foucauldian perspective
Görgülü, Burcu (2007) Interpreting IVF from a foucauldian perspective. [Thesis]
My research aim is to operationalize Foucault’s ‘biopower’ in three layers that is coproduction of nature and culture, construction of new forms of spaces of governance such as new definitions of race, gender or religious domains and new modes of subjectification in relation to truth discourses on the political and cultural construction of in vitro fertilization technique. I claim that production of discourses in legal institutions and media and their interactions with existing social values based upon gender, ethnicity and race found a substantial domain in which people (patients) set their standards to make sense out of in vitro fertilization (IVF) technologies and by doing so they become both the producers and the subjects through out their (bodily or visually) experience of IVF. In this sense, Foucault’s theory on bio-power can be used as an analytical tool to understand the recent developments in the assisted reproductive medicine, particularly in the case of IVF. In order to unpack the codified forms of power that reside control, surveillance and governance of bodies, I have developed a four level strategy. Firstly, I historicize IVF as a technological, cultural and economic site. Secondly, I focus on the concepts and discourses legal documents and mass media employed while telling stories about IVF. Thirdly, I demonstrate, through a survey study how these discourses are translated into people’s understanding of IVF. What differentiates this piece of research from the entire industry that had thrived upon Foucault and feminism is the attempt to combine conceptions of biopower” in a Non- Western context.
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