The Visualised Foetus: A Cultural and Political Analysis of Ultrasound Imagery

The Visualised Foetus: A Cultural and Political Analysis of Ultrasound Imagery

by Julie Roberts


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The latest three- and four dimensional images produced by modern ultrasound technology offer strikingly realistic representations of the foetus - representations that have further transformed experiences of pregnancy, the public understanding of foetal existence and the rhetoric of the abortion debate. Presenting a timely feminist engagement with this new technology, The Visualised Foetus explores the widespread familiarity with and popularity of this new technology within the context of a longer history of foetal visualisations. The book offers an array of case studies that examine the diffusion of 3/4D ultrasound images beyond the clinic and the implications of this new technology for biopolitics in the European and American context. With attention to the non-diagnostic and commercial use of 3/4D images, the impact of 3/4D ultrasound within the abortion debate, and new claims that ultrasound aids maternal-foetal bonding, The Visualised Foetus demonstrates the tension between the social and medical significances of foetal ultrasound, the pleasures and dangers of foetal imagery for women, the contested status of ultrasonography as 'scientific' imagery, and struggles over the authority to define and interpret ultrasound imagery. As such, it will appeal to scholars of the sociology of medicine and the body, social theory and gender and cultural studies, as well as those with interest in science and technology studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781409429395
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 12/28/2012
Series: Theory, Technology and Society Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Julie Roberts is Research Fellow in Maternity Care at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Ultrasound and its application to obstetrics: clinical and social dilemmas; Feminism and the celebrity foetus; The ultimate image in the abortion debate?; Bonding through spectatorship; Bonding scans as ’biotourism’?; The public family foetus online; Concluding thoughts; Bibliography; Index.

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