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Conference Papers Year : 2014

Fertility and medically assisted procreation: forms of exchange and relationships between patients via forums and blogs in South Africa

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Abstract

On the African continent, history of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) significantly varies from one national context to another. As part of a comparative research on three countries (South Africa, Cameroon, Togo), we questioned the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in local appropriation of reproductive technologies. Faced with fertility problems, some women use forum and blogs to search for information and support, and to express themselves. They submit personal data, share information within groups gathered around affinities and interest for fertility / infertility issues. They build social relations which often go beyond national boundaries. Based on a corpus of forum threads and blogs by South African women, we analyze forms of exchange and how they contribute to modify (or not) the way they think and act to take control of their situations. Utterances in forums and blogs are worthy of analysis as they don’t include only a posteriori speeches about the course of life: individuals can be followed as they evolve and broadcast their thoughts live. We try to capture the complexity of their routes (e.g. how women handle failures), with their discrepancies and developments, and the steps to make sense of fertility issues through subjective experience. Our study will highlight how, via internet social networks emerge around fertility issues, and how subtle relations are established, between individuation and social vulnerability, and globalization.
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Dates and versions

hal-01322259 , version 1 (26-05-2016)

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  • HAL Id : hal-01322259 , version 1

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Emmanuelle Simon, Brigitte Simonnot. Fertility and medically assisted procreation: forms of exchange and relationships between patients via forums and blogs in South Africa. International symposium Biomedical Technologies in Sub-saharan Africa, Mar 2014, Lisbonne, Portugal. ⟨hal-01322259⟩
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