Son-preference and family planning: Women Using Reproductive Technologies and Spiritual Healers in Urban Middle-Class India (2021)
Type of ContentJournal Article
PublisherProject Monma Research Centre
Both son-preference and small family size are important elements of contemporary urban middle-class Indian families. The prevalence of small families of one or two children with a strong desire to have a son has pushed women to resort to illegal means of ultrasound sex-detection, use services from spiritual healers, and follow ancient Indian knowledge. I have used the concept of technologies to explain the use of modern reproductive technologies and the application of ancient spiritual knowledge in women’s lives. In addition, I have employed the concepts of multiple modernities that suggests the use of technology to meet contemporary reproductive needs is quite modern in itself. It is a qualitative study of urban middle-class married mothers in the states of Delhi and Haryana, India, view and practice son preference. I conducted semi-structured interviews with 45 urban married, educated, middle-class mothers recruited through the snowballing technique. This article suggests that technology and society are mutually constitutive interests technology can be seen as both shaped by social-cultural settings and shaping social structures.
Keywordstechnology; spiritual healers; son-preference; Indian women; multiple modernities; middle class
RightsCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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