Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health

Research

Current research projects of the centre include:

Exploring generational changes in family-decision making, son preference and gender expectations among South Asian communities in the UK

Our ethnographic study will investigate generational shifts in family dynamics with regards to son preference and gender roles among British South Asian families. We will focus on the ways in which son preference is practiced, and critically examine whether the educational, socioeconomic, and transnational opportunities available to British South Asian women have shifted gender preferences and expectations over time. The qualitative research phase forms part of a broader interdisciplinary study to understand prenatal sex selection (PSS) against females in the UK. The issue of PSS has been the subject of recent parliamentary controversy as well as media coverage. Yet little is known about how generational shifts in son preference and family-making dynamics are at play in PSS. Clarifying the role of gender preference and family values in PSS will inform appropriate and evidence-based strategies to improve gender equality in the UK.

Project website: Exploring generational changes in family-decision making, son preference and gender expectations among South Asian communities in the UK

Narrating Blood: An international network for cross-cultural research and intervention into blood-related reproductive and adolescent health and care- economies in India, Bangladesh, Ghana and the UK

The proposed programme of work will create a unique network of scholars across the globe to ‘talk about blood’. Drawing together complementary international and national research expertise from across anthropology, psychology, education, geography, migration, medical and public health, the programme will establish a set of analytic and methodological instruments to address the social, economic and health burden of hidden blood related conditions such as anemia in lower and middle income countries. It will focus on the way blood is narrated within policy discourse as well as perceived in terms of weakness (anemia) or stigma (menstrual) in everday family, school and livelihood contexts in poor, rural, urban and migrating populations.

Project website: Narrating Blood international network

Inherited blood disorders, globalisation and the promise of genomics: an Indian case-study

The re-classification of sickle cell and thalassaemia (recessively inherited blood disorders (IBDs) within ‘prevention and management of birth defects’ by the WHO, in 2011, marks an important moment in the framing of these disorders as an emergent global health crisis. A much higher incidence poses significant healthcare challenges in low and middle income countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa, India and Brazil. India is estimated to have the largest number of IBD carriers in the world (around 42-45 million); where approximately 22,500- 37,000 babies with these disorders are born each year– largely in rural and poor communities with little access to long term care. Despite cheap diagnostic tests and treatments, including new born screening and curative stem cell transplants, available across public and private sectors, only 5- 10 percent of these children receive optimal care in India.

Project website: Inherited blood disorders, globalisation and the promise of genomics: an Indian case-study


Banner image: credited to Unnithan Res-062-23-1609