The past couple of decades, medicalization of female and male circumcision has become more common in the district of Kajiado in Kenya. Medicalization implies that the procedure is performed by trained health personnel, who use modern equipment and medicine. This thesis analyses how the form, meaning, and legitimization of male and female circumcision among the Maasai in Kajiado District changes with medicalization. Furthermore, it explores which implication these changes have on experiences of body and self.
Medicalization of circumcision is seen as one element of a larger development. As with the rapid changes in the Maasai community, medicalization is filled with ambivalence. While it is seen as the best option for the new times it is concurrently considered to have made the Maasai bodies weaker than before. Based on four month of fieldwork I suggest that there is much to learn about social change in the Maasai community through exploring changing ideas about the body. An embodied perspective is also useful when studying how medicalization is differently inscribed, experienced and acted upon by the whole embodied person. In this thesis I am particularly interested in how medicalization is variously inscribed in the gendered person.