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Making Parents
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Charis Thompson's Making Parents is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary aspect of our world: the technological, legal, and moral complexities of becoming a parent in the twnety-first century. Throughout, Thompson maintains a wonderful double vision: seeing as a remarkably gifted, scientifically informed ethnographer and watching anxious and hopeful doctors, nurses, and would-be parents with compassion and self-reflection. It is, to be sure, a book that draws deeply on science studies and feminism, but it carries that work to new spaces and in new directions. It is an added and unusual bonus that she delivers the scholarship with grace, humor, and sparkle. -- Peter Galison, Mallinckrodt Professor of the History of Science and of Physics, Harvard University Thompson's 'ontological choreography' underscores the ways in which parents are 'remade' through the processes of assisted reproductive technology, and shows how the very conception of the human is historically recast as a result of these new technological conditions for the reproduction of life. One of this extraordinary book's chief strengths is that it returns a set of abstract debates about ethics, technology, and personhood to specific institutional settings, showing us how such dilemmas emerge and giving them a much-needed historical specificity. This is a wide-ranging, unprecedented, incisive, and brilliant inquiry, probing and provocative, and bound to change the field for years to come. -- Judith Butler, Maxine Eliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, author of Undoing Gender and Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence

About the Author

Charis Thompson is Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Women's Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Making Parents: The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies (MIT Press) Wiebe E. Bijker is Professor at Maastricht University and the author of Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change (MIT Press) and other books. Trevor Pinch is Goldwin Smith Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University and coeditor of The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology (anniversary edition, MIT Press).

Reviews

"Charis Thompson's Making Parents is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary aspect of our world: the technological, legal, and moral complexities of becoming a parent in the twnety-first century. Throughout, Thompson maintains a wonderful double vision: seeing as a remarkably gifted, scientifically informed ethnographer and watching anxious and hopeful doctors, nurses, and would-be parents with compassion and self-reflection. It is, to be sure, a book that draws deeply on science studies and feminism, but it carries that work to new spaces and in new directions. It is an added and unusual bonus that she delivers the scholarship with grace, humor, and sparkle." Peter Galison, Mallinckrodt Professor of the History of Science and of Physics, Harvard University

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