Conceiving Women: Childbirth Ideologies in Popular Literature

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dc.contributor.author Toronchuk, Cherie
dc.date.accessioned 2015-08-28T22:28:32Z
dc.date.available 2015-08-28T22:28:32Z
dc.date.copyright 2015 en_US
dc.date.issued 2015-08-28
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/6599
dc.description.abstract North American research on childbearing demonstrates that many first-time mothers rely on educational books for information and advice concerning pregnancy and childbirth. Popular literature on childbearing advises women on a variety of topics including choosing a caregiver, prenatal testing, safety and risk, natural vs. medicated labour, and place of birth. Such information may shape women’s expectations, choices, and belief systems regarding the body, obstetric technology, pregnancy and birth. These varied forces and belief systems coalesce to influence the ways in which women experience birth, thereby affecting post-natal mental, socioemotional, and physical health. Currently, however, research exploring the various messages disseminated by popular literature on pregnancy and birth is limited. In this study, the author examines four popular North American childbearing advice books for discourses related to biomedical and midwifery cultures, ways of knowing, power, and choice. Discourses are considered through a feminist intersectional framework, with particular attention paid to the ways in which childbearing ideologies are shaped by interactive biological, socio- cultural, economic, and political factors. The author explores how power matrices and the privileging of biomedical knowledge can shape conceptualizations of gender and sexuality, women’s bodies, maternity care, pregnancy, labour, and birth. In addition, peripheral discourses that provide possibilities for other, non-normative narratives of birth are highlighted. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject childbirth en_US
dc.subject pregnancy en_US
dc.subject childbearing advice en_US
dc.subject birth culture en_US
dc.title Conceiving Women: Childbirth Ideologies in Popular Literature en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor De Finney, Sandrine
dc.degree.department School of Child and Youth Care en_US
dc.degree.level Master of Arts M.A. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US

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