Sociology of the Unborn

Cultural portrayals of the unborn body. #Sociology of #reproduction and #pregnancy.
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Famous Vanity Fair cover image of Demi Moore - one of the first to represent the naked celebrity pregnant body.

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Statue by artist Damien Hirst

The greatest among the modern

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Statue by artist Ron Mueck

The greatest among the modern

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A model of a foetus made using 3D ultrasound imagery

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A new British ad campaign is attempting to shock women into thinking about their fertility, using an image of a woman made up to look elderly with a pregnant abdomen.

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Obstetric phantom, Italy, 1701-1800: Manipulating the cloth ‘baby’ in the womb of this almost life-size model of the female torso shows how birth takes place. It also shows how abnormal positions of the child affect the process. The wood and leather model was used to teach medical students, and possibly midwives, about childbirth.

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An obstetric training doll used by Dr William Smellie in the UK, one of the most prominent obstetricians of the 18th century, for training midwives about birth. Made using real human neonatal craniums, leather, wire and stuffed with horsehair.

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Modern obstetric training models courtesy of Clinical Skills Centre, University of Dundee

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The increasingly public nature surrounding various aspects of pregnancy has gone one step further: Ultrasound parties are now growing in popularity, according to NBC's "Today."

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Photograph of unborn foetus grabbing the surgeon's finger before being removed from the uterus during a caesarean section.

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'The "royal foetus" as fetish': blog post by Deborah Lupton

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Making 'Postmodern' Mothers: Pregnant Embodiment, Baby Bumps and Body Image (Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences) by Meredith Nash.

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Inside pregnancy: Fertilization video

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Anatomical drawing of fetal skeletons and arteries, complete with other body parts.

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BBC series 'Misbehaving Mums to Be' showing pregnant women engaging in forbidden behaviours such as smoking, drinking and over-eating. 'Their partying ways have put their unborn babies in danger.'

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Foetus in utero baby shower cake, surrounded by jelly amniotic fluid and cheerfully grinning through a hole in the pregnant stomach.

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Foetus paperweight

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Figurines used for mizuko kuyo, the annual memorial service held in Japan for the dead unborn, including aborted foetuses.

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A statue used as part of the Japanese memorial ceremony for miscarried or aborted pregnancies and stillborn infants.

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'Embryo Princess': an animated character from the Cartoon Network series 'Adventure Time'.

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Embryo and foetus dolls dressed in baby clothes as if they are already newborn infants

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Pro-life pin, representing unborn as baby-like and beautiful

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'Comfort dolls': custom-made dolls in the likeness of an unborn baby lost through miscarriage or stillbirth.

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Embryo and foetal dolls

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Embryo and foetal figurines in a display case, used by anti-abortion groups

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