Krähenbühl Mathilde

Giving birth or not ?: Reproduction, environmental concerns and futures A multi-situated ethnography with Swiss and French ecologists

Sous la direction de Irene Maffi, Université de Lausanne

The interdependence between human reproduction and ecological concerns has resurfaced in the past decade under the form of ‘eco-reproductive’ concerns. The public debate has significantly centred around childlessness and the eco-Malthusian inspired ‘carbon footprint’ narrative. However, individual and collective accounts also exemplify concerns over uncertain futures, recalling reproductive justice movements’ claims to secure stable and healthy environments. In a context where contradictory injunctions to procreation are at play, such concerns finally highlight aspirations toward alternative kinship and conceptions of ‘family’. Through ethnographic fieldwork in Switzerland and France with ‘neorural’ communities, urban ecologists, parents and non-parents, this research explores how lived environmentalism (re)shapes reproductive paths, what futures are imagined, and what arrangements ecologists build to have children when the context is considered unappropriated. Rather than offering an analysis of the occurrence of ‘eco-reproductive’ concerns across different social groups, this anthropological research pays attention to the socio-economic background of the actors who experience them and attempts to locate them in the political landscape of ecology. Finally, the analysis of ‘eco-reproductive’ concerns is built upon and aims to generate theoretical discussions in the anthropology of reproduction, the literature interested in the reproduction-environment relationship, and the anthropology of the future.

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