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Universidade da Beira Interior | UBI
department of sociology
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Research Items (13)
The burden of deciding the fate of the supernumerary human embryo created in vitro in the context of Assisted Reproductive Technologies rests on the beneficiary couples or individuals who conceived the parental project. The beneficiaries must also take on the responsibility of choosing whether to donate surplus embryos either to others or to scientific research, or to request their destruction. Vulnerable beings, weakened from the point of view of their identity (facing the social stigma still associated with some circumstances such as being infertile, lesbian or a single mother), are required to have skills such as reflexivity and autonomy in dramatic situations that concern their relationship with their own reproductive body. Given the urgency of this issue at the socio-anthropological level, we are conducting ethnographic research aimed at analysing how specialists and lay people objectivate, evaluate and circulate different conceptions of the human embryo in vitro. Based on our research experience within this ongoing project, we intend to discuss some ethical, practical and methodological concerns for the researcher in accessing the field and conducting fieldwork. We take into account the fact that this research is focused on sensitive topics and on individuals who can be considered people in vulnerable situations.
Feminist scholars have criticised the essentialist construction of femininity associated with ‘natural’ childbirth movements. Along these debates, planned midwife-attended home births stand as the typical representation of this counterculture. In this article, we present data from a multi-sited ethnography on Portuguese home births where we analyse how gender ideologies are reproduced and operationalised by families and home birth professionals. Our findings illustrate how home birth care and associated practices are configuring apparently contradicting gender ideologies. Essentialist perspectives, which conceive birth as an opportunity to reconnect with women's oppressed femininity, coexist with non-binary conceptions of gender, where masculinity and femininity are regarded as fluid forms of energy that everyone has in different degrees, and where men are potentially welcomed in the birth setting, either as fathers or as professionals. Given the androcentric references of modern obstetrics and the marginal position of home birth, we argue that essentialism was constructed as a form of resistance.
This article will discuss the place of gender research and gender studies in universities under the current neo-liberal modes of governance. Although gender studies has a considerable history within academia and science, gender studies’ contributions in several fields were either kept invisible or just voided. The current neo-liberal rationale has promoted commodification in higher education, individualisation, excessive workloads and performativity in academia. How can these new issues associated with the neo-liberal university be articulated with ‘old’ issues related to gender inequality and to the affirmation of gender studies? Critically analysing the trajectory of science policymaking and the evolution of gender studies in Portugal as well as gender mainstreaming policies implemented in recent years, we argue that it is possible to promote a gender science policy that is able to resist and ultimately make a transformative difference in the neo-liberal university.
El debate sobre los límites y el valor añadido de la intervención en favor de la igualdad de género en las sociedades en general y en la ciencia en particular, presta especial atención a las políticas de gender mainstreaming. La universidad desempeña un papel clave en el mundo contemporáneo no solamente por ser lugar de profesionalización, estudio e investigación, sino por su función de promover la ciudadanía plena y el progreso social. En este artículo, buscamos discutir la implementación del gender mainstreaming en la academia portuguesa a partir de experiencias concretas de planes de igualdad de género desarrollados en universidades y politécnicos públicos. Considerando que el gender mainstreaming ha sido implementado de diversos modos y en distintos contextos, con base en distintos conceptualizaciones y enfoques así como con distintos recursos y niveles de compromiso, es fundamental fomentar la reflexión y el análisis crítico que nos permita identificar fracasos y errores, conquistas y beneficios, pero también amenazas y desafíos que son planteados en su desarrollo práctico, en particular al nivel de las instituciones de educación superior por su especificidad.
Contemporary home births are rare and quite invisible phenomena, and quite unexplored as an empirical field. From interviewing women and couples who experienced a planned home birth, this article aims to give an initial sociological portrait of this phenomenon in Portugal. It is shown to be not a return of the traditional or a search for a mystical experience, but rather a physical and concrete happening, strongly shaped by scientific and medical knowledge, within a search for identity coherence. Several social and medical risk perceptions emerged, as well as a reflexive consumption of medical technologies framed by these same perceptions. Despite the fact that home birth detracts the relevance of medicine during pregnancy and birth, it is not possible to frame it as a phenomenon of demedicalisation.
O presente artigo enuncia algumas das diferentes assunções epistemológicas, axiológicas e ontológicas que estão subjacentes ao paradigma quantitativo e ao paradigma qualitativo e que têm alimentado um longo debate entre metodologias de investigação. Discutem-se os termos algo dogmáticos e erróneos que têm informado muito deste debate, os quais resultam mais em querelas e em posicionamentos irredutíveis do que propriamente em debates científicos. Argumenta-se que, para um investigador, escolher uma metodologia de pesquisa não pode ser uma questão de preferência. Essa escolha terá de estar relacionada com as questões que o investigador coloca, com a natureza do que se pretende conhecer, com o tipo de respostas que espera providenciar. Discutem-se, ainda, algumas das dificuldades que se colocam à realização de pesquisa qualitativa, as quais resultam não só da natureza e das exigências subjacentes a uma tal pesquisa, mas também de fatores exteriores à pesquisa e estranhos ao investigador que a condicionam.
Da autoria de especialistas de Portugal e do Brasil, o livro oferece uma visão global, diversificada e atualizada sobre o complexo campo da saúde e da doença nos dois países.
Starting from a theoretical framework that recognizes the reciprocal relationships between technology and society as drivers of social change, this article aims to understand, from the analysis provided by an ongoing research, the complex relationships between information technology, communication technology, ICT and the gender at home, giving special emphasis to the gendered use of technology. This use denotes the still prevailing pattern of the gender roles division and the consequent persistence of traditional representations of the housework division.
This paper addresses a project in progress, which envisages an account and understanding of the ways of employment of technology in the domestic space. According to the principal thesis adopted, gender is assumed as the structuring variable in the ways of appropriation and negotiation of spaces and times, and technology contains the distinctive orders of the masculine and feminine positions. In brief, an attempt is made to understand how perceptions and representations of technology and time are gendered, and create distinct and differentiated ways of use of space and time. This paper addresses a project in progress, which envisages an account and understanding of the ways of employment of technology in the domestic space. In the paper, interim results are presented of the research, in particular of the survey carried out in the beginning of 2010 among couples in two regions of Portugal with different levels of development. This is preceded by an overview of some major studies about the relationship between time and technology, focusing on household equipment, its assumed and real time-saving effects for women and its repercussions on social organization within the household.
This paper addresses a project in progress, which envisages an account and understanding of the ways of employment of technology in the domestic space. According to the principal thesis adopted, gender is assumed as the structuring variable in the ways of appropriation and negotiation of spaces and times, and technology contains the distinctive orders of the masculine and feminine positions. In brief, an attempt is made to understand how perceptions and representations of technology and time are gendered, and create distinct and differentiated ways of use of space and time. In the paper, interim results are presented of the research, in particular of the survey carried out in the beginning of 2010 among couples in two regions of Portugal with different levels of development. This is preceded by an overview of some major studies about the relationship between time and technology, focusing on household equipment, its assumed and real time-saving effects for women and its repercussions on social organization within the household.
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