Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in by Elise Andaya

By Elise Andaya

After Cuba’s 1959 revolution, the Castro govt sought to instill a brand new social order. Hoping to accomplish a brand new and egalitarian society, the kingdom invested in regulations designed to advertise the wellbeing and fitness of ladies and youngsters. but as soon as the Soviet Union fell and Cuba’s fiscal problems worsened, those courses started to cave in, with critical effects for Cuban families.

Conceiving Cuba bargains an intimate examine how, with the island’s political and monetary destiny in query, copy has develop into the topic of heated public debates and agonizing inner most judgements. Drawing from a number of years of first-hand observations and interviews, anthropologist Elise Andaya takes us inside of Cuba’s families and scientific platforms. alongside the best way, she introduces us to the ladies who combat with the tricky query of whether or not they can have the funds for a toddler, in addition to the medical professionals who, with merely meager assets at their disposal, fight to stability the wishes in their sufferers with the mandates of the state.

Andaya’s groundbreaking study considers not just how socialist rules have profoundly affected the methods Cuban households think the long run, but in addition how the present main issue in copy has deeply inspired traditional Cubans’ perspectives on socialism and the way forward for the revolution. Casting a sympathetic eye upon a bothered country, Conceiving Cuba provides new lifestyles to the thought that the private is usually political.

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Extra info for Conceiving Cuba: Reproduction, Women, and the State in Post-Soviet Cuba

Sample text

In 1969, in preparation for the (unsuccessful) Ten Million Ton sugar harvest of 1970, the FMC pledged to recruit a hundred thousand women per year to toil alongside men in the fields and sugar mills, as well as to replace men in other industries who had been mobilized for the great harvest. Volunteers visited approximately four hundred thousand homes, speaking with unmarried women and their parents or with married women and their husbands in an effort to incorporate them into the work force (Kaufman Purcell 1973).

My fieldwork drew on three primary sources of data. The first came from immersion in the busy ambit of my neighborhood family doctor clinic. Under the welcoming wing of Dr. Janet Torres, the family doctor who first invited me to join her clinic, I observed prenatal and neonatal healthcare consultations twice a week for eight months, and accompanied doctors on home visits and on several overnight emergency shifts at the local polyclinic. These family doctors also introduced me to other medical personnel in their social and professional networks.

3 These gendered worlds tightly circumscribed women’s movements, particularly for the middle and upper classes. Men were expected to provide for their dependents through their work in the public sphere, and male ability to support their families without requiring their wives to engage in paid labor was PRODUCING THE NEW WOMAN 27 central to class and social status. Women were thus largely confined to homebased activities; in their roles as wives and mothers, their presumed heightened moral sensibility protected the family, imagined as a private sanctuary, from the aggressiveness, immorality, and materialism of public life.

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