English summary


You have entered web pages of the research project: „Childbirth, Assisted Reproduction, And Embryo Manipulation. A Sociological Analysis of Current Reproductive Medicine in the Czech Republic." financed by the Czech Science Foundation in 2011-2014 (P404/11/0621).

The research project deals with current reproductive medicine in the Czech Republic. It is based on the concept of biopower as an analytical idea of a method of governance and administration of a modern population (Foucault 1999). The project focuses on biomedicine, as a concrete manifestation of this form of normalization of modern society in the Western approach to human health/illness (Cahill 2001). The aim of the project is to conduct a critical sociological analysis of reproductive medicine, as one of the key poles in the current form of biopower (Rabinow, Rose 2003, 2006). The reason for focusing research on this area is the relation between reproductive medicine in the Czech Republic and technology, the commodification of health and illness, and the normative character of reproductive medicine with its consequences in the broader social area. The research focuses on three specific fields of reproductive medicine: childbirth, assisted reproduction, and embryo manipulation.

The project analyzes hegemony of biomedicine in the social field of biological reproduction. Through sociological qualitative studies, the project explores the negotiation of power, boundaries between health and illness and medical defining of normality. You can find a summary of the project here.

The final project monograph Games of Life is available for a free download now here and other project publication references and outputs can be found at this (Czech) link.

The members of the research team are Lenka Slepičková, Ph.D., Eva Šlesingerová, Ph.D. and Iva Šmídová, Ph.D., all researchers are sociologists working at the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Iva concentrates her research on analyses of gender relations in the family and re/production of gendered structures within organizations. She has conducted a research study interpreting the experience of childbirth by new parents (women and men with their first-born babies). And she continuously publishes on themes relevant to critical studies on men and masculinities, thematising masculine domination and hegemony of men (hegemonic masculinities). (She is the principal investigator/co-ordinator of the project.)

Eva deals with analyses of popular representations of genetics, the embryo, and DNA. In her texts "Imaginace národních genů a vtělená sociální teorie" (Imagination of national genes and the social theory embodied; dissertation thesis FSS MU 2008), and "Imaginace genů a hranice etnických identitfikací" (Imagination of genes and the borderlines of ethnic identifications, 2007) she points out the current patterns of negotiating the boundaries of group identity and the boundaries of humanity. She is interested in the topics concerning embodiment, borderlines of humanness, the idea of race, and kinship. She teaches a graduate course on the "Body and Embodiment" and other courses at the Social anthropology program at FSS MU.

Lenka works as a researcher at the Institute for Research on Social Reproduction and Integration there. Her research interest focuses on involuntary childlessness, infertility and assisted reproduction. She has conducted a qualitative research study with men and women who have experienced infertility treatment. She has published several papers concentrating on the consenquences of assisted reproduction for the conceptualization of parenthood, gender roles and health and illness, for example "Couples undergoing infertility treatment in the Czech Republic: Broad range of possibilities in a traditional milieu" in Social Theory and Health (2010).