Accepted paper:

Sexual/reproductive health, social movements and anthropology in México

Authors:

Anastasia Martino

Paper short abstract:

My research deals with the issue of sexual and reproductive health in Yucatán (México). Which is the role that a “feminist-activist” oriented anthropologist can play within the political arena where sexual and reproductive rights are negotiated and defined?

Paper long abstract:

My research has been focused on family planning policies, use of contraceptive methods and the issue of abortion (illegal practice in most of Mexican states). I decided to take into account different social actors: women, men, health professionals and social movements activists. I have been working with public associations (pro-choice and pro-life movement) that are ideologically oriented on specific positions. In order to make possible my fieldwork, I have been asked to show my own ideas about reproductive and sexual rights. Although I don't agree with most of pro-life movements' positions, I have been able to negotiate terms and conditions of my presence in their structures, "being there" just like an external researcher. With pro-choice association, instead, we managed to build a collaborative relationship: besides being a foreign researcher dealing with sexuality and reproduction, I have become part of the group. It was through this collaborative action, and not only thanks to my "being there", that I have gained access to the group. I'll reflect on how my research has been defined and "facilitated", in one case, by my decision to play an active part in the pro-choice group; in the other, by the distance I put between myself and the pro-life group. What are the challenges and possibilities of my work, as an anthropology researcher, a women and, somehow, an activist about sexual and reproductive rights?

panel P016
Feminist activist ethnography and social change