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Who are all right in America? : reproductive technology, race, gender and sexuality in The kids are all right and Made in America
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4514-7028
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The family has been a contested site throughout American history. More or less constantly perceived to be in crisis, in need of defending or in need of redefining, the family has been portrayed both, and often simultaneously, as the origin of the strength of the nation and the source of the threat to the survival of that same nation (see eg Christopher Lasch, Haven in a Heartless World). The family figures primarily as an ideal space, a blank canvas on which hopes and fears are projected.

In contemporary American discourse, these hopes and fears are increasingly entangled with or informed by reproductive technology. While abortion dominates political or public debates on gender issues in the US, there is no doubt that other forms of reproductive technology such as surrogacy, in vitro fertilization and sperm donation are increasingly becoming part of the gender debate, where women’s bodies are arenas for contesting the meaning of family, kinship in a wider sense, and the intersection between nature and technology. 

This paper explores the ways in which narratives of reproductive technologies are inflected by the categories of race, gender and sexuality and made to interplay with powerful narratives of family in two movies, the 1993 Made in America and the 2010 The Kids are all right. While reproductive technology is often discussed as disruptive to traditional discourses on family, I argue that although the movies encourage critical perspectives the narrative of family becomes the dominant one and that, in the end, not only familial, but also national cohesion and stability is re-affirmed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keywords [en]
cultural studies, feminist theory, reproductive technology, popular culture, american studies
National Category
Cultural Studies General Literature Studies
Research subject
English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-39478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-39478DiVA, id: diva2:770422
Conference
Eighth Biennial Conference of the Swedish Association for American Studies, Örebro, Sweden, September 26-27, 2014
Available from: 2014-12-10 Created: 2014-12-10 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Bonnevier, Jenny

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf