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Durham University

Department of Anthropology: Asian (In)Fertilities

British Pakistani Muslims, Infertility and the New Reproductive Technologies

This research explores the impacts of infertility on the lives of British Pakistanis on Teesside, and their responses, including engagement with the new reproductive technologies. Infertility carries particular stigma among this group, and can alter identities, and affect family/social relationships. The research explores how people negotiate their quest for a child, paying attention to discourses of religion and science, understandings of the body, and meanings of marriage, kinship and family life.


To investigate the ways in which British Pakistani Muslims understand and negotiate infertility and particularly in relation to the new reproductive technologies

Research questions

These include:
  • How is infertility of various kinds/degrees situated within the full range of fertility experiences among British Pakistanis?
  • What are the personal and social implications of infertility for British Pakistanis?
  • How do British Pakistanis engage with fertility treatment, in particular the new reproductive technologies?
  • What are the discourses surrounding new reproductive and genetic technologies of medical professionals performing treatments for infertile British Pakistani couples? Are they aware of the repercussions that new developments of these technologies may have for Pakistani men and women?