The Ultimate Argument. Evoking the Affective Powers of ‘Happiness’ in Commercial Surrogacy

Siegl, Veronika (2018). The Ultimate Argument. Evoking the Affective Powers of ‘Happiness’ in Commercial Surrogacy. Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, 27(2), pp. 1-21. Berghahn 10.3167/ajec.2018.270202

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This article explores how the notion of happiness is employed in order to obscure the moral ambiguity and intimate uncertainties of commercial surrogacy. My ethnographic data elucidate the ways in which surrogacy agents and other intermediaries operating in Russia and Ukraine evoke happiness. I discuss three forms of their affective labour: a discourse of fear and hope, the attempt to make surrogacy a joyous and happy process and the claim that there is a right to happiness. I contend that ‘happiness’ serves as the ultimate argument, an argument that has the affective power to override moral concerns and that delegitimise critique.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Social Anthropology
09 Interdisciplinary Units > Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies (ICFG)

Graduate School:

Graduate School Gender Studies

UniBE Contributor:

Siegl, Veronika

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 170 Ethics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

1755-2923

Publisher:

Berghahn

Language:

English

Submitter:

Veronika Siegl

Date Deposited:

14 Nov 2018 13:47

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2019 08:36

Publisher DOI:

10.3167/ajec.2018.270202

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.121106

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/121106

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