Contraception and power: reproduction control as a multidimensional experience of social relations

Principal researcher: Joana Vidal Maia

Research group: Governance, Policies and Livelihoods


Contraception | Social differentiation | Power | Life stories

Funding Institution

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)



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The goal of this Project is to investigate the multidimensionality of power exercises in reproduction control experiences lived between individual projects, social relations and the imagination. This research aims to understand how people live and how they represent these experiences as social practices, cultural relations, and discourses, all crossed by multiple layers of meaning and enrolled in the structure/agency dynamics. It considers the development of formal processes, for example: family planning laws and other public policies in health and education; regulation and normalization processes that cross interpersonal relationships, relations between people, formal and informal institutions, cultural formations e social imaginations; and how difference processes shape social categories as gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, social class, education, age, nationality, religion and others. This investigation is developed as an ethnographic investigation in two fields – Fortaleza (Brazil) and Lisbon (Portugal) – to observe the processes of meaning and power in different contexts, based on a methodological dialogue between life stories and ethnography of historical imagination


Full members

Antónia Pedroso de Lima

Governance, Policies and Livelihoods