Bodily interventions and intimate labour

Understanding bioprecarity

Edited by Gabriele Griffin and Doris Leibetseder

Bodily interventions and intimate labour


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3856-9
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: February 2020
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Sociology: work & labour, Gender studies, gender groups, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, ART / Criticism & Theory, Society & social sciences / Sociology & anthropology, Society & social sciences / Sociology, Society & social sciences / Gender studies, gender groups


How have rapid changes in biotechnologisation, for example around assisted reproductive technologies or (re)constructive surgery, effected those seeking help with fertility treatment or clitoral reconstruction? What is involved for queer people in making a family of their own, or for trans people to access the relevant surgery? This volume argues that contemporary cultures foster bioprecarity by categorizing groups of people in certain ways and/or by denying them access to the treatment they seek or need. Drawing on original empirical data with trans and queer people, but also other minoritised and racialized groups, this volume explores how bodily interventions, their regulation, and the intimate labour the interventions involve, create vulnerabilities.


'This edited volume from Griffin and Leibetseder (both, Uppsala Univ., Sweden) addresses bioprecarity, both theoretically and practically, in relation to bodies and notions of embodiment. While feminist scholarship has considered bodies for some time, this volume fills a gap in the literature by thematizing precisely how bodies involved in intimate labor are "made vulnerable." That is, the volume's contributors address how societal norms and regulations work to "require individuals to seek or provide bodily interventions of different kinds." The collection contains 12 chapters organized into 5 parts. Topics considered include kin-making, commercial surrogacy, intimate partner violence, reproductive reconstruction, and histories of medical research as related to indigenous and transgender bodies. Griffin and Leibetseder have given careful attention to the layout of the volume, providing their own opening chapters as an entryway to the text. The book is clearly written and well supported with references. The scholarship is rigorous and links to canonical figures such as Judith Butler and Michel Foucault, as well as many other well-known scholars.'
M. K. Bloodsworth-Lugo, Washington State University


Introduction - Gabriele Griffin and Doris Leibetseder

Part I: Theorizing bioprecarity and the body
1 Intimate labour and bioprecarity - Gabriele Griffin
2 Bioprecarity as categorical framing - Doris Leibetseder

Part II: Precarity in the making of kin
3 Precarious labourers of love: Queer kinship, reproductive labour and biopolitics - Ulrika Dahl
4 Precarious bodily performances in queer and transgender reproduction with ART - Doris Leibetseder
5 Bioprecarity and pregnancy in lesbian kinship - Petra Nordqvist

Part III: Bioprecarity and bodies as pieces
6 Precarious pregnancies and precious products: Transnational commercial surrogacy in Thailand - Elina Nilsson
7 'It's just sperm. That's all you're giving.': Men's views of sperm donation - Gabriele Griffin
8 Bodily disrepair: Bioprecarity in the context of humanitarian surgical missions - Nancy Worthington

Part IV: Bioprecarity in the transgression of boundaries of intimacy
9 Transgressing boundaries: Seeking help against intimate partner violence in lesbian and queer relationships - Nicole Ovesen
10 Precarious subjectivities: Understanding the intimate labour involved in seeking clitoral reconstruction after female genital cutting - Malin Jordal

Part V: Bioprecarity and eugenicist histories
11 'My body, my self': Indigeneity, bioprecarity and the construction of the embodied self - an artist's view - Katarina Pirak Sikku and Gabriele Griffin
12 The intimate labour of non-normative bodies: Transgender patients in early Swedish medical research - Julian Honkasalo

Conclusions - Gabriele Griffin and Doris Leibetseder


Gabriele Griffin is Professor of Gender Research at Uppsala University

Doris Leibetseder is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow (2017-2019) at Uppsala University

Bodily interventions and intimate labour

Edited by Gabriele Griffin, Doris Leibetseder

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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