The Politics of Reproduction in Ottoman Society, 1838-1900

The Politics of Reproduction in Ottoman Society, 1838-1900

Hardback The Body, Gender and Culture

By (author) Gulhan Balsoy

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  • Publisher: Pickering & Chatto (Publishers) Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 236mm x 15mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 28 June 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1848933258
  • ISBN 13: 9781848933255
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 1,509,723

Product description

Epidemics, migration and territorial losses led to population decline in early nineteenth-century Turkey. In response, Ottoman elites began a programme of population growth, based on increased birth rate and reduced infant mortality. Three policies were initiated to achieve this: the professionalization of midwives, a ban on abortion and greater medical care during pregnancy. Balsoy uses previously untapped archival sources to examine these developments, arguing that these changes caused reproduction to become a political experience.

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Review quote

'[We] heartily recommend the book to experts on nineteenth-century medicine and gender. Balsoy's research is reliable, and her work will prove illuminating for scholars who are seeking to expand their comparative horizons.' Isis 'very extensively and thoroughly investigates the gendered manner in which Ottoman anxiety of depopulation was articulated by state and society within this period ... a fascinating 'must-read' not only for feminist historians but students interested in Ottoman history and identity, history of medicine, and the politics of sexuality.' The FWSA Blog 'a clearly written, carefully documented history of reproductive policy making in the Ottoman empire in the post-Tanzimat period ... an invaluable monograph for Ottomanists specialized in policy making and gender.' Turkish Historical Review 'an important contribution to Tanzimat-era studies ... This book should be of great interest to scholars who specialize in Ottoman studies, particularly in the fields of demography and gender studies.' New Perspectives on Turkey

Table of contents

Introduction 1 Besim Omer and Writing the History of Midwifery and Childbirth 2 The Transformation of Midwifery 3 Abortion, Power and Agency 4 Pregnancy as a Site of Medical Intervention 5 Infertility as a Public Problem Conclusion: Gendering Nineteenth-Century Ottoman History