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A bold reappraisal of science and society, The Woman in the Body explores the different ways that women’s reproduction is seen in American culture. Contrasting the views of medical science with those of ordinary women from diverse social and economic backgrounds, anthropologist Emily Martin presents unique fieldwork on American culture and uncovers the metaphors of economy and alienation that pervade women’s imaging of themselves and their bodies. A new preface examines some of the latest medical ideas about women’s reproductive cycles.
“Spectacular. There is no better study of the power of metaphor in modern medicine.” -Thomas W. Laqueur, author of Making Sex
“One of the greatest strengths of this fascinating book is Martin’s careful analysis of how medical language about women’s bodies reveals cultural assumptions about women and their life’s purpose. . . . Highly recommended.” -Judith Walzer Leavitt, Bulletin of the History of Medicine
“An important contribution. . . . In challenging the status of both bio-medical ‘facts’ and popular assumptions about women this book will stimulate scholars and students of gender, medicine, and American culture.” -American Ethnologist
“Provocative. . . . Martin’s conclusions are ground-breaking.” -Julia Epstein, The Women’s Review of Books