The Ultrasonic Picture Show and the Politics of Threatened Life

Medical Anthropology Quarterly Volume 23, Issue 3, pages 189–211, September 2009

23 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2012 Last revised: 28 Aug 2012

See all articles by Tsipy Ivry

Tsipy Ivry

University of Haifa - Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Date Written: August 3, 2009

Abstract

This article examines a local version of medical public discourse about fetal images produced through ultrasonography in Israel, where this technology has gained huge popularity. Nevertheless, I argue, ultrasound in Israel has not become engaged in the discursive production of “fetal subjects” central to the Euro-American life politics. Fetal images in Israel have become entangled in a “politics of threatened life”: where “life” stands typically for the pregnant woman and “threat” for the fetus, while the prospect of a reproductive misfortune is the fabric through which pregnancies, regardless of their medical categorization as “low risk” or “high risk,” are navigated and negotiated by doctors and women. The same processes of separation generated by ultrasonography forge different imagined relations between woman and fetus. This article opts to go beyond analyzing the cultural paradigms of thinking and the sociopolitical circumstances at play, to convey a sense of how notions of threatened life are produced.

Keywords: ultrasonography, Israeli society, pregnancy, reproduction, ob-gyns

Suggested Citation

Ivry, Tsipy, The Ultrasonic Picture Show and the Politics of Threatened Life (August 3, 2009). Medical Anthropology Quarterly Volume 23, Issue 3, pages 189–211, September 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2130433

Tsipy Ivry (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Department of Sociology & Anthropology ( email )

Israel

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
24
Abstract Views
314
PlumX Metrics