Of care and commodities: breast milk and the new politics of mobile biosubstances

Boyer, Kate (2009) Of care and commodities: breast milk and the new politics of mobile biosubstances. Progress in Human Geography, 34, (1), 5-20. (doi:10.1177/0309132509105003).


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Advances in lactation technology in recent years have changed the ontological status of
breast milk, giving it new-found mobility. This paper considers the contested meanings over breast
milk’s ‘proper place’ in US and UK society. By synthesizing scholarship from geography, gender
studies and science and technology studies, I use the case of mobile breast milk to propose a new
framework for how geographers might conceptualize mobile biosubstances. Drawing on the work
of Waldby and Mitchell (2006), I suggest that the ways in which breast milk now travels refl ect
how mobile biosubstances increasingly function as a hybrid form, drawing together elements of
both gift-exchanges and commodity-exchanges.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/0309132509105003
ISSNs: 0309-1325 (print)
1477-0288 (electronic)
Keywords: biosubstances, breast milk, geographies of care, infant feeding choices, work/life balance
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography
ePrint ID: 150893
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
1 February 2009Published
Date Deposited: 06 May 2010 15:03
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:23
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/150893

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