The Work of Inscription: Antenatal Care, Birth Documents, and Shan Migrant Women in Chiang Mai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For transnational migrant populations, securing birth documents of newly born children has crucial importance in avoiding statelessness for new generations. Drawing on discussions of sovereignty and political subjectivization, I ask how the fact of birth is constituted in the context of transnational migration. Based on ethnographic data collected from an antenatal clinic in Thailand, this article describes how Shan migrant women from Myanmar (also known as Burma) utilize reproductive health services as a way of assuring a safe birth while acquiring identification documents. Paying close attention to technologies of inscription adopted for maternal care and birth registration, I argue that enacting bureaucratic documents offers a chance for migrant women to bridge the interstice between human and citizen. Birth certificates for migrant children, while embodying legal ambiguity and uncertainty, epitomize non-citizen subjects’ assertion of their political relationship with the state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-498
Number of pages18
JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

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migrant
Myanmar
statelessness
Thailand
sovereignty
certification
health service
uncertainty
migration
citizen

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology

Cite this

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The Work of Inscription : Antenatal Care, Birth Documents, and Shan Migrant Women in Chiang Mai. / Seo, Bo Kyeong.

In: Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 4, 12.2017, p. 481-498.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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