Book ID: CBB011182300

The Economization of Life (2017)


Murphy, Michelle (Author)

Duke University Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: 232 pp.
Language: English

What is a life worth? In the wake of eugenics, new quantitative racist practices that valued life for the sake of economic futures flourished. In The Economization of Life, Michelle Murphy provocatively describes the twentieth-century rise of infrastructures of calculation and experiment aimed at governing population for the sake of national economy, pinpointing the spread of a potent biopolitical logic: some must not be born so that others might live more prosperously. Resituating the history of postcolonial neoliberal technique in expert circuits between the United States and Bangladesh, Murphy traces the methods and imaginaries through which family planning calculated lives not worth living, lives not worth saving, and lives not worth being born. The resulting archive of thick data transmuted into financialized “Invest in a Girl” campaigns that reframed survival as a question of human capital. The book challenges readers to reject the economy as our collective container and to refuse population as a term of reproductive justice.

Reviewed By

Review Micheal F. McGovern (2018) Review of "The Economization of Life". Journal of the History of Biology (pp. 613-615). unapi

Review Garland E. Allen (2018) Review of "The Economization of Life". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 878-879). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
DiMoia, John P.
Ehrlich, Shoshanna
Greenhalgh, Susan
Hochman, Gilberto
Kluchin, Rebecca M.
López, Raúl Necochea
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
French Historical Studies
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Journal of Global History
Journal of the History of Biology
Rutgers University Press
University of California Press
Rutgers University
Cambridge University Press
Pennsylvania State University Press
McGill University (Canada)
Family planning
Birth control; contraception; sterilization
Women and health
Reproductive medicine
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
19th century
21st century
18th century
United States
East Asia
Carnegie Institution of Washington
World Health Organization (WHO)

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