Anticipatory Regimes in Pregnancy: Cross-Fertilising Reproduction and Parenting Culture Studies
In this piece, the author highlights how anticipation (acting in the present in reference to imagined futures) is a central and transversal theme in reproductive studies as well as parenting studies. She introduces a conceptual framework for the study of anticipatory regimes. She also argues that pregnancy is an excellent site to think transversally about reproduction and parenting.
Despite attempts at highlighting continuities across the reproductive process from conception to childcare, reproduction and parenting still tend to be studied as a collection of separate objects. This article contributes to the cross-fertilisation of reproductive and parenting culture studies by first introducing anticipation as a transversal analytical lens. A conceptual framework for the analysis of anticipatory regimes in reproduction is introduced with a focus on subjectification effects and future images. Second, the importance of pregnancy as a connector between reproduction and parenting is highlighted. These propositions are fleshed out with reference to an ethnography of pregnancy care in Switzerland. The results demonstrate that pregnant women are expected to act as anticipating agents and that foetuses are treated as future children. Future images reveal how prenatal care reproduces gender norms. Analysing anticipatory regimes contributes to discussions of power relations in prenatal care, the stratification of reproduction and challenges to reproductive justice.
SAGE Publishing, Sociology, Journal of the British Sociological Association, Volume 57, Issue 3
Reproduction – childbearing
Family – parenthood – kinship
Couple – relationship – marriage – partnership
Cultural Anthropology, Social Anthropology