Conceptualizing Surrogacy as Work-Labour: Domestic Labour in Commercial Gestational Surrogacy in India

Majumdar, Anindita (2018) Conceptualizing Surrogacy as Work-Labour: Domestic Labour in Commercial Gestational Surrogacy in India. Journal of South Asian Development. ISSN 0973-1741 (In Press)

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Using ethnographic findings, this article reflects on Indian women engaged in commercial surrogacy for foreign and Indian couples and expands on the existing ideas of paid and unpaid employment by conceptualizing transnational commercial surrogacy in India. The latter is undertaken through a mapping of the meanings surrogates and intended couples make of their participation in the transnational commercial surrogacy arrangement. Here, ideas about motherhood, domesticity and contractual labour come together to create an understanding of the unique role of surrogates in the arrangement. While emerging research has aimed to conceptualize the surrogate’s contribution through differing theoretical understandings of work and labour, my ethnographic findings suggest that surrogacy and its linkages with paid work are more complex than conveyed by its researched connections with care work and/or sex work. Invoking established theorizing of sexualized care work and reproductive choice, I point to the need for a deeper engagement with the idea of work-labour itself. Within this wider conceptualization are social categories that mediate between commerce and intimacy—including that of the paid domestic worker. By using frames used to study paid domestic work in India and South Asia, I portray surrogacy and the commercial surrogate through notions of domesticity, family and intimacy paying particular attention to its linkages with paid work.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Majumdar, AninditaUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Transnational commercial surrogacy, South Asia, surrogates, domestic workers, intimate care work
Subjects: Social sciences
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2018 04:56
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2018 04:56
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