Shaping the Motherhood of Indigenous Mexico is an in-depth examination of the ways in which the neoliberal Mexican state attempts to control women's reproductive practices and intervene in child-rearing and family relations through the cash transfer program known as Oportunidades (“Opportunities” in English). With more than a fifth of Mexico's population enrolled, Oportunidades uses access to monthly cash benefits for women and children to induce women to take responsibility for health, nutrition, and education in their families. The program requires women to attend informative pláticas and special events, to make sure their children go to school, and to take their children regularly to the doctor. In addition, women are often required to do physical labor such as sweeping health clinics, cleaning bathrooms in health clinics or schools, and other public maintenance work.

Evoking a Foucauldian analysis of surveillance and biopower, anthropologist Vania...

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