Based on fieldwork conducted in Hanoi, Haunting Images explores how Vietnamese families handle the difficult decisions presented by new reproductive technologies. At the center of the book are case studies of thirty pregnant women whose fetuses were labeled "abnormal" after an ultrasound examination. By following these women and their relatives through the painful process of reproductive decision-making, Tine M. Gammeltoft offers both intimate ethnographic insights into day-to-day lives in a Southeast Asian country and a sophisticated theoretical exploration of how subjectivities are forged in the face of moral assessments and demands. Across the globe, ultrasonography and other technologies for prenatal screening offer prospective parents new information and present them with agonizing decisions never faced in the past. For anthropologists, this diagnostic capability raises important questions about individuality and collectivity, responsibility and choice. Based on this work in Vietnam, Gammeltoft argues that in order to comprehend how life-and-death decisions are made, anthropologists must pay closer attention to human quests for belonging.
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