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International reproductive health: a perspective on research, policy, and practice

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Title: International reproductive health: a perspective on research, policy, and practice
Author: Gaskins, Alisha Susan Clompus
Abstract: This thesis provides a lens through which to view the field of international reproductive health in order to better understand where it stands today, how it evolved to its current state, and the directions in which it is going. This research explores how systems of power, privilege, and oppression intersect with networks of states and their agencies, international institutions and organizations, donor and funding organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the medical-industrial complex, social and scientific research, educational systems, and the media. These networks produce, reproduce, shape, share, and distribute knowledge about reproductive health, which greatly influences dominant discourse, policies, practices, and decision-making from the international to the individual level. I propose that there is an epistemic vortex, Reproductive Health International, that fosters a global view of and approach to reproductive health, but also generates different manifestations and meanings as it encounters local actors. This metaphor reflects the complexities of reproductive health research, the development of international reproductive health policies, and the way in which reproductive health strategies are put into practice. My research framework has three main roots: (1) postcolonial intersectional ecofeminism, which challenges all systems of power, privilege, and oppression, (2) political ecology, which critically evaluates the political and social aspects of ecological theory and practice, and (3) reproductive justice, which seeks reproductive freedom through advocacy, resistance, and action. I show how the Reproductive Health International vortex operates by examining case studies in the Philippines and Bolivia where I illuminate how hegemonic discourse has been used to justify interventions by the international community and examine the agendas of influential global and local actors who encounter international reproductive health policy and practice. This study reveals the complexity inherent in the production of knowledge about reproductive health, which is essential to our understanding and ability to re-craft a more just reproductive health paradigm.
Description: Thesis (M.A.)--Humboldt State University, Social Science, 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2148/740
Date: 2011-05

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  • Masters Theses [874]
    A collection of selected Masters Theses in electronic format.

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