Issue 23

Aligning the affective body

Commercial Surrogacy in Moscow and the Emotional Labour of Nastraivatsya

Page 63
Veronika Siegl

Drawing on the concepts of «emotional labour» (Hochschild) and «technologies of the self» (Foucault), this article explores how women align their affective and thus risky bodies in order to become effective surrogate workers in Moscow. I argue that this alignment entails «dis-emotionalising» the pregnancy by strategically essentialising the female body. This essentialisation also serves as an authoritative tool of control and conceals the power disparities at hand.

Veronika Siegl is a PhD student and research fellow at the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern. Her research on trans- / national surrogacy in Russia and Ukraine was part of the project «Intimate Uncertainties: Precarious Life and Moral Economy Across European Borders», funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and directed by Prof. Dr. Sabine Strasser.