Divided Mothers: changing global inequalities of 'nature' and 'nurture'

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Introduction: novel intimacies of the global? Mothers are on the move; the transnational character of childcare, adoption and access to assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are all implicated in the contemporary ‘globalization of motherhood’. Many have linked this to the heightened disarticulation of maternal ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ and to stark global inequalities between women. But when and where were women ‘mothers by nature’? And how far are present inequalities between mothers perpetuations of past patterns? Marilyn Strathern has long challenged the universality of maternal ‘nature’ (1980, 1988) and successively considered the combined impact of ARTs and novel patterns of nurture in the ‘recombinant families’ of contemporary European and American cultures (Strathern 2005a: 22). Yet the fracturing of maternal nature and nurture in the North is perforce linked with processes in the South. The processes of biological and social reproduction are increasingly transnational, engaging and entrenching inequalities in global fl ows of persons, technologies and legal regimes. In this chapter I pose two fundamental and related questions: Is this present era distinctive in the globalization of motherhood and how far are contemporary patterns of stratifi ed reproduction (Colen 1995) similar to those which prevailed in the colonial period?
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Globalization of Motherhood: Deconstructions and reconstructions of biology and care
    Editors JaneMareer Maher and Wendy Chavkin
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9780415778947
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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