We anthropologists are astute observers of the local, trained to keep our
ears to the ground. In countless villages, towns, and cities, we frequently
report on the seismic jolts that globalizing projects necessarily entail for
local social life. Processes like the uptake of pharmaceuticals, for ex-
ample, play out with diverse consequences and appropriations in Delhi
and Tokyo; Norplant and its iterations have been put to unanticipated
ends in Brazil and Gambia; Thailand has become a hot destination for
international medical tourism; and Ecuador funds its own in-vitro-
fertilization industry in part through egg donations between women
from the highlands who trust relatives more than anonymous pro-
ducers, thus cheapening the cost of reproductive technologies. In cases
like these, anthropologists have analyzed the constrained and exquisitely
stratified agency that women and men exercise as their lives are shaped
by international religious institutions, corporate markets, state policies,
and multinational organizations.
There is, of course, more work to be done. We know, for example,
very little about the reproductive aspirations and practices of men be-
yond macho stereotypes, as researchers now working in Mexico, the
Caribbean, the Island Pacific, the Middle East, and elsewhere have re-
cently shown us, even as masculinity is subject to globalizing forces with
particularizing e√ects. And we are still caught in the conundrums of
‘‘letting the global in’’ to our understandings of the daily discourse and
practice that our qualitative methods were initially designed to amplify
and understand. What can our methods teach about the often invisibly
present social relations of state, market, and activism woven into the
concrete contexts in which our work is carried out?
The book you are about to read, Reproduction, Globalization, and the
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