By Heather Paxson
In Greece, ladies communicate of mothering as "within the character" of a lady. yet this sturdy organization of motherhood with femininity exists in rigidity with the top occurrence of abortion and one of many lowest fertility charges in Europe. during this surroundings, how do ladies think about themselves as right contributors, moms, and Greek electorate? during this anthropological examine of reproductive politics and ethics in Athens, Greece, Heather Paxson tracks the results of accelerating consumerism and imported biomedical relations making plans equipment, exhibiting how women's "nature" is being remodeled to fulfill crosscutting claims of the modern global. finding profound ambivalence in people's moral reviews of gender and fertility keep watch over, Paxson bargains a far-reaching research of conflicting assumptions approximately what it takes to be a great mom and a very good girl in smooth Greece, the place assertions of cultural culture spread opposed to a backdrop of ecu Union integration, monetary fight, and nationwide demographic nervousness over a falling delivery cost. Illustrations: five b/w pictures
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Extra info for Making Modern Mothers: Ethics and Family Planning in Urban Greece
21 Motherhood redeemed female sexuality and accorded women adult status under what I call an ethic of service. The narratives of this generation of women (and the narratives of younger women relating the lives of their mothers and grandmothers from this era) feature tales of maternal suffering and sacriﬁce, and fate looms large in their (post hoc) justiﬁcatory appeals. ” Supposedly unnecessary, abortion before the war was an exceptional occurrence, immoral in the eyes of local priests (Comninos 1988).
Here, a childless woman is not regarded as unnatural so much as morally irresponsible; less drastically, she is denied the social credit and support that other women, as mothers, receive. The psychologist Vaso Skopeta explained it this way: The childless woman “is incomplete. ” A woman’s “compassion circle” encompasses her relationships with her parents, in-laws, siblings, children, friends, spouse, even coworkers, as well as with any potential children, for these relationships are all contingent.
Family size, reproductive strategies, and gendered practices ﬁgure importantly in these discussions. While many Athenians today tout contraceptive responsibility as an important measure of modern mentalities (cf. Kanaaneh 2000), there is no consensus on how such mentalities develop, or on what they actually entail. For example, an Athenian woman might view herself as a modern person, choosing for herself a future guided by relatively autonomous considerations, but on occasion employ what she considers to be traditional means (including the aid of other people) to get there.