La maternità surrogata: una prospettiva critica dell’addio al corpo del post-umanesimo

Journal title SALUTE E SOCIETÀ
Author/s Giorgio Porcelli
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2019/1
Language Italian Pages 22 P. 60-81 File size 228 KB
DOI 10.3280/SES2019-001005
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Human beings have their existence through the corporeal forms that beget them. Every modification of these forms implies a different definition of humanity. If its limits are written through the flesh which shapes men and women, both subtracting and adding other components transform their personal identity and landmarks which concern them in the eyes of the others. In a word, if the body is a symbol of society, as Mary Douglas suggested, all that is done on its form concerns the social bond. Thinking the body is another way of thinking about the world and the social bond. In the light of the reflections of the sociology of the body of David the Breton, this article seeks to analyze how the disgust of maternity and more in general of the body which is currently widespread in many currents of post-humanism, leads to the thought that soon or later children will born with no mother and father, assembled into a test tube, run by the machines even before being born, covered by a guarantee by their gametes donors. Maternal and gestational surrogacy as well as an augmented or refused body are therefore the expressions of that dismissal of the body that characterizes post-humanism and cyberculture. Then some extreme implications of the posthuman thought will be analyzed, in the light of Le Breton’s and Giddens’ recent reflections. On the one hand, Le Breton discusses the theories of the augmented body, in which the body’s limits are overcome through technological prosthesis and the support of the machine at all stages of human existence starting with ectogenesis which stands as the logical assumption of maternal surrogacy. On the other hand there is Giddens’ theory of Reflexive Modernity. According to Giddens, we live in a time when the body and its natural dynamics are subtracted to the human beings and subjected to the domain of genetics and medicine and to the power of experts. It is then fundamental to cope with these issues within a public debate about their ethical and social consequences.

Keywords: Sociology; body; posthuman; cyberculture; gestational; maternal surrogacy.

  1. Bakhtin M. (1970). L’Oeuvre de François Rabelais et la Culture Populaire au Moyen Age et sous la Renaissance. Paris: Gallimard.
  2. Adelman M., Ruggi L.O. (2012). Contemporary sociology and the body. Sociopedia.isa: 1-13. DOI: 10.1177/20568460128
  3. Adelman M., Ruggi L.O. (2016), The Sociology of the Body. Current Sociology, 64(6): 907-30. DOI: 10.1177/0011392115596561
  4. Arendt H. (1998). The Human Condition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  5. Atkinson P. (2010). Responses to Carol Thomas’s paper on narrative methods: The contested terrain of narrative analysis – an appreciative response. Sociology of Health and Illness, 32(4): 661-62.
  6. Aydin C. (2017). The posthuman as hollow idol: A Nitzschean critique of human enhancement. The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 42: 304-27.
  7. Le Breton D. (2013). L’Adieu au Corps. Paris: Métailié.
  8. Le Breton D. (2015). Du silence. Paris: Métaillié.
  9. Le Breton D., Marcelli D., Ollivier B. (2012). Marcher pour s’en sortir. Un travail social créatif pour les jeunes en grande difficulté. Toulouse: Érès.
  10. Martin E. (1996). The egg and the sperm: How science has constructed a romance based on stereotypical male-female roles. In: Keller E.F., Longino H.E., a cura di, Feminism and Science. New York: Oxford University Press.
  11. Martin E. (2001). The Woman in the Body: a Cultural Analysis of Reproduction. Boston: Beacon Press.
  12. Martin L.J. (2010). Anticipating infertility: Egg freezing, genetic preservation, and risk. Gender and Society, 24(4): 526-45. DOI: 10.1177/089124321037717
  13. O’Reilly J., Cahn S. (2007). Women and Sports in the United States: A Documentary Reader. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
  14. Parsons T. (1951). The Social System. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press.
  15. Pitts V.I. (2003). In the Flesh: the Cultural Politics of Body Modification. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  16. Porcelli G. (2005). Identità in frammenti. Prospettive globali di sociologia della conoscenza. Milano: FrancoAngeli.
  17. Porcelli G. (2006). Comunicare il dolore con il corpo: Identità e corporeità. Salute e Società, 3: 38-50. DOI: 10.1400/68166
  18. Porter A. (2017). Bioethics and Transhumanism. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 42: 237-60.
  19. Preciado B. (2008). Testo Yonqui. Madrid: Espasa.
  20. Robert E.F.S., Scheper-Hughes N. (2011). Introduction: Medical migrations. Body and Society 17(2-3): 1-30. DOI: 10.1177/1357034X1140092
  21. Said E. (1978). Orientalism. New York: Viking.
  22. Scheper-Hughes N. (1993). Death without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  23. Tamanini M. (2009). Reproduçao Assistida e Gènero: o Olhar das Cièncias Humanas. Florianopolis: Editora da UFSC.
  24. Terenzi P. (2006). Identità e dolore nella sociologia del corpo di David Le Breton. Salute e Società, 3: 82-98. DOI: 10.1400/6817
  25. TranshumanistFAQ(2016)TranshumanistFAQ(online). -- Available:
  26. Turner B. (2008). The Body and Society. London: Sage.
  27. Wacquant I. (2004). Body and Soul: Ethnographic Notebooks of an Apprentice-Boxer. New York: Oxford University Press.
  28. Wilson R.R. (1995). Cyber(body) parts: Prosthetic consciousness. Body and Society, 1: 238-59. DOI: 10.1177/1357034X9500100301
  29. Bochner A.P. (2010). Responses to Carol Thomas’s paper on narrative methods: Resisting the Mystification of narrative inquiry: Unmasking the real conflict between story analysts and storytellers. Sociology of Health and Illness 32(4): 662-65.
  30. Bordo S. (1987). The Flight to Objectivity: Essays on Cartesianism and Culture. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  31. Bostrom N. (2010). Letter from Utopia (Version 1.9). Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology, 2: 1-7.
  32. Bostrom N. (2014). Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  33. Bourdieu P. (1982). Ce que Parler Veut Dire. L’Economie des Echanges Linguistiques. Paris: Fayard.
  34. Bourdieu P. (1991). Language and Symbolic Power. New Haven, CT. Harvard University Press.
  35. Braun J., Langman I. (2011). Carnivalization and Alienation. New York: Routledge.
  36. Connell R. (2007). Suther Theory. The Global Dynamics of Knowledge in the Social Sciences. Sidney: Allen and Unwin.
  37. Copeman J. (2009). Introduction: Blood donation, bioeconomy, culture. Body and Society, 15(2): 1-28. DOI: 10.1177/1357034X0910343
  38. De Lauretis T. (1987). Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film and Fiction. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
  39. Doyle J., Roen k. (2008). Introduction to surgery and embodiment: Carving out subjects. Body and Society, 4(1): 1-7. DOI: 10.1177/1357034X0708752
  40. Dumont L. (1986). Essays on Individualism. Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  41. Ehrenreich B., English D. (1976). Witches, Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers, Writers and Readers. New York: The Feminist Press.
  42. Elias N. (1991). The Society of Individuals. Oxford: Blackwell.
  43. Frank A.W. (2010). Response to Carol Thomas’s paper on narrative methods: In defence of narrative exceptionalism. Sociology of Health and Illness, 32(4): 665-67.
  44. Gavarini L. (1990). Experts et legislateurs de la normalité de l’ètre humain: vers un eugénisme discret. In: Testart J., a cura di, La magasin des enfants. Paris: Folio.
  45. Giddens A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  46. Giddens A. (1991). Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  47. Giddens A. (1992). The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  48. Haraway D. (1991). A cyborg manifesto: Science, technology and socialist-feminism in the late twentieth century. Simiams, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge.
  49. Hughes J. (2015). Transhumanist position on human germline genetic modification. Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (online). Available:
  50. Kimmel M. (2008). Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. New York: Harper Collins.
  51. Langman I. (2008). Punk, porn and resistance: Carnivalization and the body in popular culture. Current Sociology, 56(4): 657-77. DOI: 10.1177/0011392108090947
  52. Le Breton D. (1990). Anthropologie du Corps et Modernité. Paris: Puf.
  53. Le Breton D. (2006). La Saveur du monde.Une anthropologie des sens. Paris: Métailié.
  54. Le Breton D. (2012). Marcher. Éloge des chemins et de la lenteur. Paris: Métailié.

  • Mother Nature and the nature of motherhood: Gestational surrogacy and ecospirituality as two postmodern forms of sacralization Antonio Camorrino, in Current Sociology /2021 pp.212
    DOI: 10.1177/0011392120964894

Giorgio Porcelli, La maternità surrogata: una prospettiva critica dell’addio al corpo del post-umanesimo in "SALUTE E SOCIETÀ" 1/2019, pp 60-81, DOI: 10.3280/SES2019-001005