Global Technologies, States Policies, and Local Realities
Part I explores intersections of, and interactions among, local, national,
and global influences on diverse reproductive practices. The chapters con-
sider conceptual and methodological challenges anthropologists face when
conducting global ethnography. In addition, they examine the impact of
globalization processes on reproduction and the strategies that individuals
and couples develop in response. Taken together, these chapters show that
governmental policies and state power continue to have major impact on
reproductive behavior in many parts of the world, even as global forces may
to some extent eclipse them.
In ‘‘Global Ethnography: Problems of Theory and Method,’’ Susan L.
Erikson elucidates the complexities and principal dilemmas faced by an-
thropologists who seek to conduct global ethnography, and o√ers a model
for conducting such research. Using the example of German prenatal care,
Erikson identifies the complex network of actors (i.e., international corpo-
rations, private doctors’ associations, insurance companies, medical practi-
tioners, and pregnant women) who shape German practices associated with
the use of fetal ultrasound technologies. Her chapter shows how an ethnog-
rapher can follow people, commodities, and concepts across the boundaries
of nation-states, professions, and disciplines to apprehend the impact of the
global flow of a medical technology as it is advanced by state and biomedical
interests and the needs and desires of pregnant women.
Junjie Chen’s ‘‘Globalizing, Reproducing, and Civilizing Rural Subjects:
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