Conference Announcement/Call for Papers: Changing Contraceptives

Andrew Russell (
Fri, 24 Nov 1995 17:11:23 +0000

Announcement of a Joint International Conference
Stockton-on-Tees, U.K., 12-14 September 1996


Background and Themes

This conference will address reproductive health issues in diverse social=
and cultural settings. What are the implications for womens health and=20
well-being of contraceptives currently marketed or under development? =20
What are the religious, political and economic influences on their=20
production, dissemination and use? What do women themselves think of=20
them? What has been the impact of contraception on group behaviour,=20
social institutions, gender and kinship relations in varied settings? =20
What future trends can be identified? This multidisciplinary conference=20
aims to bring together social, biosocial and medical scientists=20
interested in these critical questions, which are of relevance to=20
contraceptive policy makers, practitioners, manufacturers and users.

The conference will address the following themes:

Technologies: Technologies include long-acting hormonal contraceptives=20
(such as Norplant and Depo-Provera) and intra-uterine devices (such as=20
Mirena and the infamous Dalkon Shield), the French morning after pill=20
(RU486) and oral contraceptives. What are the contexts for their=20
development, testing, dissemination and use? What new male=20
contraceptives are feasible and what prevents their wide-scale=20
development? What changes have there been in the uses of and attitudes=20
towards older technologies, such as condoms in relation to HIV/AIDS? =20
What do contraceptive records tell us about patterns of non-technological=
contraception such as abstinence and coitus interruptus? Why have=20
sterilisation rates increased dramatically in recent years in certain=20
parts of the world?

Choices and Constraints: What can case studies in varied societies tell=
us about the contraceptive practices of men and women and the reasons for=
their choices? How widely available and accessible are contraceptive=20
services, and what is their quality? What constraints, religious,=20
social, economic and psychological are there on their use? What do=20
contraceptives mean to their users, practically and symbolically? What=20
cases of resistance to the ideologies of population control and family=20
planning can be found? How are contraceptive choices made in the context=
of alternative practices such as menstrual regulation, abortion and=20
Change: What part does the use of contraception play in our=20
understanding of social and cultural change? What are the implications=20
of contraception on family and gender relations, and on political and=20
economic change? What can the different methodologies of the social,=20
biomedical, demographic and environmental sciences contribute to our=20
understanding of contraception in a changing world?

The conference is a joint venture of the Centre for Cross-Cultural=20
Research on Women, Oxford, and the Department of Anthropology at the=20
University of Durham/University College Stockton, in collaboration with=20
the Northern Primary Care Research Network. It will take place at=20
University College, Stockton from 12-14 September 1996. Papers will be=20
presented in workshop sessions, allowing plenty of time for formal and=20
informal discussions. There will also be the opportunity for bookstalls=20
and the display of other promotional materials at information stands=20
around the College. Parties interested in receiving display space are=20
asked to inform the convenors at the address below at their earliest=20

Advertising and Dissemination
The conference will be widely advertised using the networks and contacts=20
of the conference organisers and sponsors. A book of abstracts will be=20
available in advance to all participants. After the conference, reports=20
will appear in the press and relevant journals. In addition, it is hoped=
that many of the papers presented will be written up for inclusion in at=20
least one edited volume. This will make an original and=20
widely-disseminated contribution to a topic of fundamental concern for=20
womens reproductive health, and will be of interest to academics,=20
policy-makers and planners as well as womens groups, NGOs and individual=20
women concerned with contraception and culture change. =20

Contributing Papers
We encourage papers from across the social, cultural, biological and=20
health sciences. A cross-cultural focus, given the global importance of=20
the topic, will be particularly welcome. Those interested in=20
contributing a paper are invited to submit a 250-word synopsis to the=20
convenors at the address below by April 1st 1996.

Funding The unit cost per participant for three days (including all
appropriate meals and refreshments, registration, distribution of
abstracts and other administrative costs) will be =A372 ($120) without
accommodation, and =A3128 ($200) with two nights' accommodation. We would
like to offer a sliding scale of charges to enable students and others on
low incomes to attend. We are seeking funding to enable us to sponsor
contributors and participants from around the U.K. and, possibly, abroad.=

Dr. Andrew Russell=09=09=09=09=09Dr. Elisa Sobo
University of Durham=09=09=09=09=09University of Durham
Department of Anthropology=09=09=09=09Department of Anthropology
43 Old Elvet=09=09=09=09=09=0943 Old Elvet
Durham, DH1 3HN=09=09=09=09=09=09Durham, DH1 3HN

Telephone: 0191-374-7208=09=09=09=09Telephone: 0191-374-2846
Fax: 0191-374-2870=09=09=09=09=09Fax: 0191-374-2870