Att plantera ett barn : internationella adoptioner och assisterad befruktning i svensk reproduktionspolitik
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this thesis is to study the norms and values surrounding the family and the nation-state in Swedish family policy as they appear in Official Government Reports (SOU) on international adoption and assisted reproductive technology (ART) between 1953 and 2007. I argue that the committees’ reports can be viewed as normative statements constituting a hegemonic state discourse. The methodological approach is based on the ideas of Michel Foucault, especially the concepts relating to governmentality, such as power, knowledge, discipline and normalization, and the theoretical framework is inspired by feminist, postcolonial, and intersectionality critique of the nuclear family, heteronormativity, nationalism, and citizenship. In my analysis, focus is on similarity and difference, continuity and change, in the governmental committees’ notions of what is natural, normal, and morally right when it comes to reproduction and family relations. International adoptions have been regarded as humanitarian aid for third world countries, but they have also been associated with corruption, kidnapping, baby-selling, and the exploitation of poor countries. The committees’ have worried about the adopted children’s ability to adapt, their psychological health, and the question of origin. The right to know one’s origin is also considered to be of great importance for children conceived after ART. Reproductive technology was met in the beginning with suspicion and distrust, however, the techniques have been naturalized, and there has been a gradual liberalization of ART legislation in Sweden, which has opened up opportunities for alternative families. A central conclusion of this thesis is that the Swedish reproduction policies in late modernity are very complex, partly full of contradictions and ever changing. What is constant is the will to govern. Governing is achieved through positive governing such as information, education, treatment, benefits, and financial support, or through negative governing such as exclusions, prohibitions, penalties, and correctional measures. The reports are characterized by an interdependence between power and knowledge. Scientific knowledge, especially medical, psychological, and social scientific knowledge, is important for the committees’ arguments, but at the same time the scientists too are subject to government regulation, as some scientific disciplines and research fields are privileged over others. Processes of normalization and disciplination seem to be fundamental for surveillance of the individuals concerned and the society at large. I suggest that the committees’ main goal is to create responsible, society-changing, and self-governing citizens who live up to the norm.
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