Discourses Associated with Reproduction in Movements for a Humanized Birth in Argentina

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Raquel DROVETTA, National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Argentina, University of Guelph, Canada, National University of Villa María (UNVM), Argentina
In the last few years in Argentina, it has become possible to observe mobilizations by organizations demanding for what is called a humanized birth. Women and/or heterosexual couples (“the pregnant couple”), from middle and urban sectors, frequently adhere to this way of thinking, and, more and more, women whose first delivery was by cesarean section.

Our hypothesis puts forward that the movements demanding a humanization of birth constitute themselves as dissidents against the predominant regulations, something which acts on disciplined sexuality. In this sense, these movements would advocate for the formulation of a counter proposal to the one that originates in, for example, hegemonic sectors within biomedicine. This resistance would include collective action work for the resignification of feminine reproductive events, thus removing such events from current cultural regulations, allowing women to reinterpret their symbolic construction of giving birth, caesarean section, pain, and even, maternity, and promoting substantial changes in women’s subjective construction of aspects connected to reproduction.

The research design proposed is qualitative and presupposes the integration of different techniques to work with the data. In-depth interviews will be conducted with key informants and document collection will be carried out. The research questions are: how do they construct and articulate the network of practices and discourses associated with reproduction? which features does reproductive governance currently take on in Argentina?

We employ as an analytical tool what Morgan and Roberts (2012) define as reproductive governance, when referring to the mechanisms through which different historical configurations of actors, such as state institutions, churches, donor agencies and non-governmental organizations [women and feminist organizations], use legislative controls, economic incentives, moral mandates, direct coercion, ethical incitement and/or principles in order to produce, supervise and control reproductive behaviors and practices.