Winner of the 1995 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize of the Society for Medical Anthropology
"A remarkable synthesis of ethnography about infertile Egyptian women's attempts to have children, history of the development of Egyptian medical ideas and practices from ancient times, and contemporary political and economic analysis."—Lingua FrancaIn Quest for Conception, Marcia C. Inhorn portrays the poignant struggles of poor, urban Egyptian women and their attempts to overcome infertility. The author draws upon fifteen months of fieldwork in urban Egypt to present moving stories of infertile Muslim women whose tumultuous medical pilgrimages have yet to produce the desired pregnancies. Inhorn examines the devastating impact of infertility on the lives of these women, who are threatened with divorce by their husbands, harassed by their husbands' families, and ostracized by neighbors.
"Inhorn invokes in her vivid description of her informants' dilemmas and convincing analysis of their explanations of their infertility a combination of variables; gender issues are interwoven with political domination, colonial history, indigenous religious beliefs, economic problems such as poverty and deprivation, state policies regarding family planning and a whole series of interrelated areas."—Middle Eastern Studies