By Cecilia Van Hollen
Even childbirth is stricken by globalization--and in India, as in different places, the rage is clear of domestic births, assisted through midwives, towards health center births with expanding reliance on new applied sciences. And but, as this paintings of serious feminist ethnography essentially demonstrates, the worldwide unfold of biomedical versions of childbirth has no longer introduced forth one monolithic type of "modern birth." targeting the start reports of lower-class ladies within the South Indian country of Tamil Nadu, delivery at the Threshold finds the advanced and precise ways that modernity emerges in neighborhood contexts. via shiny description and lively discussion, this ebook conveys the delivery tales of the ladies of Tamil Nadu of their personal voices, emphasizing their opinions of and aspirations for contemporary births at the present time. In mild of those tales, writer Cecilia Van Hollen explores greater questions about how the buildings of colonialism and postcolonial foreign and nationwide improvement have helped to form the shape and that means of beginning for Indian ladies at the present time. eventually, her ebook poses the query: How is gender--especially maternity--reconfigured as start is remodeled?
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Additional info for Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth and Modernity in South India
Nochikuppam got its name from the fact that the land used to be covered by a forest of nochi trees. The forest was gradually cleared as members of the ﬁshing community began to build huts right along the beach. It was not until 1973 that the cement, three-story “housing board” complexes were constructed on this land by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, while Dr. M. Karunanidhi, of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party, was Tamil Nadu’s chief minister. After the housing board complexes were constructed, the government assigned ﬂats to families based on a lottery system.
There was a bus stop in the middle of Kaanathur right at the point where the dirt road led down to Reddikuppam and to the sea. In the mid-1960s there was only one tea stall in this zone between Kaanathur and the road leading out to the sea. In 1995, however, passengers getting down from the bus faced a long row of small shops which ran along the side of Kaanathur parallel to the new road, giving Kaanathur the air of a very small town. The new road not only enabled people from Kaanathur-Reddikuppam to travel farther for such things as trade and medical care but also provided a direct conduit for the ﬂow of people, goods, and ideas from the metropolis into Kaanathur-Reddikuppam and its surroundings.
Murugesan himself had had nine children, of which only three had survived. His ﬁrst wife had had two children but only one survived, and Childbirth and Modernity 27 that wife died in childbirth. The second wife, who was his ﬁrst wife’s younger sister, had had seven children and only two of those children survived. All of the children had died before they reached the age of three, and most died within one year. The ﬁrst child of the ﬁrst wife was born at home with a maruttuvacci and died after 28 days.
Birth on the Threshold: Childbirth and Modernity in South India by Cecilia Van Hollen