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Pregnancy as project: organizing reproduction

Brewis, Joanna and Warren, Samantha 2001. Pregnancy as project: organizing reproduction. Administrative Theory and Praxis 23 (3) , pp. 383-406.

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This paper uses the work of Georges Bataille to claim that we Westerners seek to stave off death by engaging in various future-oriented projects,by organizing ourselves, each other, and our environments in particular ways. Given that we organize to try to forestall death, we therefore suggest that organizing is a much more widespread and significant process than organizational theory usually acknowledges. Indeed, although we define both productive labour (work) and reproductive labour (pregnancy and childbirth) as projects in this sense, we deal here with the latter because we wish to foreground the ways in which organizing occurs beyond the work organization. We aim to identify organizing as a generalized social process by revealing how Western society has turned reproductive labour into a project, a means of extending life both psychologically (producing offspring) and physiologically (ensuring the health and longevity of baby and mother). We analyse pregnancy manuals, birth plans and reproductive technologies to illustrate our claims, and draw parallels with productive labour as project where appropriate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: ME Sharpe
ISSN: 1084-1806
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2020 03:53

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