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Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community, Updated edition Updated ed. Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520217355
ISBN-10: 0520217357
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Contested sides of the enduring conflict over abortion and its importance in helping determine women's place in society are presented here by Ginsburg, associate professor of anthropology at New York University. In a scholarly, historically weighted study too specialized for general readers, the author relates the present debate to the changes wrought by economic and cultural developments that engendered modern feminism, along with the impact of legal, medical and political agendas on public attitudes towards abortion. Based on interviews with a pro-life and a pro-choice abortion activist, both of whom claim to represent women's real interests, Ginsburg contends that their viewpoints are largely derived from personal values, background and experiences of transition and difficulties in their own reproductive lives. Although she maintains that activists on both sides share many common concerns, she concludes that abortion remains a challenge to the concept of female gender identity linked to nurturance and domesticity.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

By focusing on one small, localized struggle (in Fargo, N.D.) as it evolved over more than a decade, Ginsburg (anthropology, NYU) has provided an outstanding scholarly study of the abortion conflict. Her meticulous and sympathetic portrayals of the activists on both (or, as she reveals it, several) sides let her raise issues that transcend the "pro-life versus pro-choice" contest, and place the women, and those who would exploit their concerns, into a much broader cultural context. What began as a disputed state referendum campaign escalated into a battle over an abortion clinic, culminating in a social drama that was extended to a national audience via a TV newsmagazine. Her analysis of the role of symbols and metaphors in the propaganda , the competition among the various interest groups, and the life stories of the activists are particularly compelling. Highly recommended for serious readers and academics.
- Beverly Miller, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 359 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Updated ed. edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520217357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520217355
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A. Slade on March 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read this book in College.

It's not a definitive work of the entire debate, but does raise different sides of the argument regarding choice and abortion. I found it to be a balanced book. The author spoke to women engaged in the Choice debate from both sides of the fence one town/city. WHile this may not be the case now, the women knew eachother and eachother's organizations, and were, in some cases, very collegial. I would recommend this book quite highly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Incredible accrual of interviews and information for a profile of a small town. Paints a thorough picture of how abortion colored the inter-workings of a rural, midwestern community.
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