“Andrea Whittaker’s Thai in Vitro is a superb ethnography of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and how knowledge concerning infertility is produced and circulated in the encounter between individuals seeking treatment and medical professionals. The book is an important contribution to anthropological studies of reproductive health and the anthropology of Thailand, and it is relevant to anthropologists and sociologists as well as to public health and STS scholars… In addition to being a refined theoretical analysis of the subject, it also works as a model example of ethnographic research methods.” • Medical Anthropology Quarterly
“The book is of a highly detailed ethnographical spirit but also offers insightful theoretical analysis. I would highly recommend reading this book to anyone who is seeking to understand the inner workings of Thai society. Its implications go well beyond its subject matter.” • Newbooks.asia
“…an important contribution to the growing field of social studies of infertility treatment… Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are now routine throughout the world, and it is crucial that we learn more about how they gain a foothold in particular countries.” • Ayo Wahlberg, University of Copenhagen
“This is a splendid piece of scholarly work, and demonstrates the discipline of anthropology and of fine-grained ethnographic research and critically reflexive analysis at its best. It fills a much needed gap in the anthropology of Thailand and in the provision of solid ethnographic data on the topic of assisted reproduction more generally.” • Graham Fordham, Australian National University
“[This book] is scholarly and extremely well researched but is also very readable and beautifully written… It is accessible but also respectful to all previous work which it engages with, and summarizes, very well.” • Heather Montgomery, The Open University
In Thailand, infertility remains a source of stigma for those couples that combine a range of religious, traditional and high-tech interventions in their quest for a child. This book explores this experience of infertility and the pursuit and use of assisted reproductive technologies by Thai couples. Though using assisted reproductive technologies is becoming more acceptable in Thai society, access to and choices about such technologies are mediated by differences in class position. These stories of women and men in private and public infertility clinics reveal how local social and moral sensitivities influence the practices and meanings of treatment.
Andrea Whittaker is an ARC Future Fellow and Convenor of Anthropology at Monash University. She is a medical anthropologist whose most recent publications include Abortion, Sin and the State in Thailand (2004) and Abortion in Asia: Local dilemmas, global politics (ed., Berghahn Books 2010).
LC: RG135.W52 2015
BISAC: MED082000 MEDICAL/Reproductive Medicine & Technology; SOC026010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Sociology/Marriage & Family; SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural
BIC: PSXM Medical anthropology; JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography