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

Boyer, Kate ORCID: 2009. Of care and commodities: breast milk and the new politics of mobile biosubstances. Progress in Human Geography 34 (1) , pp. 5-20. 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 reflect how mobile biosubstances increasingly function as a hybrid form, drawing together elements of both gift-exchanges and commodity-exchanges.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0309-1325
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 08:45

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