Informal Session: Stratified Reproduction in a Global Oceania
Organizers: Jenny Munro, Leslie Butt, and Madeline Lemeki
Stratified reproduction is a term used to describe hierarchies where affluence shapes who is able to control childbirth and childrearing, and who experiences reproductive constraints and fewer reproductive choices. Global inequities have enabled some families (typically more affluent and race-privileged) to reproduce and rear children at the expense of the rights and options of other women, often by employing women to work as surrogates or as carers. In Oceania, longstanding politics surround reproduction (such as tensions over family size and birth control, aid sector interventions, pressures of economic growth, urbanisation and access to land) are increasingly intersecting with new forms of inequality, technology and mobility to shape reproductive hierarchies. Recent debates have begun to address what Morgan and Roberts (2012) call the “modes of reproductive governance” that make available different reproductive “choices” for different populations depending on national political strategies, the potential capacity to support neoliberal economic objectives, or to become “human capital” in larger political and economic narratives.
This panel seeks to make inroads into Oceanic discourses and practices around stratified reproduction. How do affluence and economic inequities shape reproduction? What stratifications are occurring, and in what spaces, institutions, relationships, agendas? What are the “modes” and politics that make different reproductive choices/experiences available to different populations (men, women, youth, heterosexual, LGBTQI, immigrant, indigenous, landowner, asylum seeker, worker, expat) in Oceania? And how do practices of reproduction (fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, parenting) confront or refuse attempts by local, state and global institutions to govern reproduction, deny or erase choice, or determine which populations are more or less deserving of reproduction and reproductive rights?
We seek to initiate conversations about Oceanic population logics. We welcome insights on the institutions engaging in stratifications – from biomedicine to immigration to employment – and different ways they engage in assemblages. We especially welcome dialogue on the values and ideologies held or promoted by populations whose reproduction is contested, stigmatised or especially celebrated, and how these might destabilize or engage with the larger logics of population governance.
Possible themes for discussion:
Jenny Munro, University of Queensland, <email@example.com>