Dossier

Issue 20

"Ontological choreography" as an ethnographic tool

Understanding the Making of Families by Reproductive Technologies in Switzerland

Page 84
Nolwenn Bühler, Willemijn de Jong, Yv E. Nay, Kathrin Zehnder

In this article the term «ontological choreography», coined by Charis Thompson, is used as a heuristic analytical device to grasp the different realities of reproductive technologies. The question is addressed as to whether this ethnographic tool is fruitful for understanding the making of families by heterosexual people and LGBTQ. Three case studies from a research project on fertility and family in the context of assisted reproduction in Switzerland reveal the fascinating complexities of temporal aspects of the ontological choreographies, but also some of their weaknesses as a tool. We propose to expand it by taking relationality and historical time into account.