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The middle of the twentieth century saw the generalization of hitherto forbidden or impossible practices (abortion, contraception, medically assisted procreation, sex change), or, in places where traditional authority was seen as strongly contested (school, family), of a new government of people “through words.” More than a decade after having observed (Memmi, 2003) and developed the theory of this way of regulating conduct, what could be said about it today, at the least with respect to the administration of the beginning of life? Three observations have to be stressed. This device went on to expand its empire, relatively ignoring, despite some certain developments –?and non?negligible ones – its potential targets, and thus revealed one of its deep meanings: that the naturalization of women’s vocation to motherhood should now pass through other ways than in the past. Which ones?


  • naturalization
  • motherhood
  • psychologism
  • subjectivity
  • women
Dominique Memmi
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