Making a baby is a chapter-based ethnography of infertility treatments and the people who make use
of them in Gauteng. There are four chapters, starting with 'Behind the Curtain'. In the first chapter, the
context, both historical and theoretical, of this work is given. Difficulties experienced in accessing people who
are undergoing fertility treatments, difficulties in classifying the couples struggling to conceive discussed here as
middle class (and why I choose to classify them as such) as well as outlining the history and development of
infertility treatments in South Africa follows. Thereafter follows, a brief discussion of how other researchers
have approached studying medical technologies, with special consideration for the work of Rayna Rapp.
Following this is a discussion of who my informants are, and how my methodology was established and
negotiated to effectively obtain the data enclosed here.
The second chapter, 'Testosterone', deals with the 'external' world of infertility treatments. I argue that
the most significant factor in accessing fertility treatments is money. The second factor is the doctors, where
they studied and specialised, how they become specialists, where they practice, and the networks within which
they function. Between money and doctors we find the medicines that are prescribed and genderised into the
social categories (male or female, in this case) that they fit into.
The third chapter, 'Oestrogen', deals with the internal world of fertility treatments. Internal in this
context means both internal to a woman, and internal to the clinic rooms. The extreme levels of monitoring of
the female body, the hospital that mimics the womb and finally, how these women attempt to become mothers,
not just pregnant will be addressed in the chapter.
Finally, this work concludes with 'Making a Baby'. Here I show how the context, as expressed in the
first chapter, informs both kinds of definitions of infertility that of both the biomedical doctor, and that of
the person undergoing such treatments. I show how the division between a body and a personality presupposes
a unified body, especially when that division is expressed in an idiom of infertility treatments. I argue that social
categories, technologies and technical knowledge related to infertility treatments are intimately related. Finally, I
argue that in this process of making a baby, the nexus of this interrelationship is the category 'natural'.
Dissertation (M(SocSci))--University of Pretoria, 2016.