Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bio-Capital and the Social Relations of Reproduction

Today's campus newspaper reports that there has been a "25 percent increase in the number of women applying to be egg donors, a trend some experts attribute to college students looking to make an average of $5000 in a rough economy." The gendering of the entrepreneurial self. Yet, it would seem the preference is for more regulation to better ensure that the psychological motives for donation are more "altruistic" than financial. My favorite line is from the medical ethicist: "We are not commodifying human beings." We're compensating people for their trouble and their time." Note the abstraction from the particulars of the body: people not women, and the "trouble and time," not eggs. Time is money and the ethical here is re-formulated to support an abstract social relationship of exchange predicated on the proper psychological, medical, and physical disposition of the donor. We might call the cultivation of this proper disposition learning to labor in the reproductive economy.

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