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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), pp. 5-20. (doi:10.1177/0309132509105003).

Record type: Article


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.

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Published date: 1 February 2009
Keywords: biosubstances, breast milk, geographies of care, infant feeding choices, work/life balance
Organisations: Geography, PHEW – C (Care)


Local EPrints ID: 150893
ISSN: 1477-0288
PURE UUID: fc249f54-402e-46a1-b280-c97d803b5312

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Date deposited: 06 May 2010 15:03
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:56

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