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Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology

On-line version ISSN 1809-4341

Abstract

REZENDE, Claudia Barcellos. The experience of pregnancy: subjectivity and social relations. Vibrant, Virtual Braz. Anthr. [online]. 2011, vol.8, n.2, pp. 529-549. ISSN 1809-4341.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1809-43412011000200026.

In this article, I examine from a comparative perspective how the experience of pregnancy is affected by pregnant women's social network, in an urban context. In particular, I analyse the role played by husbands or male partners, family, friends and medical specialists during gestation and how these relationships impinge on women's subjectivity. I contrast the earlier studies of Maria Isabel Almeida and Tania Salem, carried out in the 1980s, with my own research material, gathered in 2008, all of which dealt with middle class women living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who were going through their first gestation. I argue, with this comparison, that different ways of thinking and living these relationships as well as the changes undergone in gender roles in the family affects women´s subjectivity, in particular the value given to the expression of individuality - its motivations, desires and emotions.

Keywords : pregnancy; subjectivity; family; middle classes.

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