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Midwives, medicine and natural births: female agency in Scandinavian birthing shows

Midwives, medicine and natural births: female agency in Scandinavian birthing shows
Midwives, medicine and natural births: female agency in Scandinavian birthing shows
This article examines how the often juxtaposed concepts ‘natural birth’ and ‘medically assisted birth’ figure in Jordemødrene, Barnmorskorna and En unge i minuten: three Scandinavian documentary programmes depicting midwifery and childbirth. Through comparisons between US and UK birthing shows, the study considers the socio-historically specific construction of birthing practices and the figure of the midwife. Non-invasive approaches to labour are celebrated as symbols of an essential ‘women’s culture’ that asserts female agency, but medical technology and pain medication also figure as potential tools for female empowerment, thus rendering the midwife a malleable figurehead for multiple strands of feminism.
1749-6020
177-189
Bull, Sofia
67e74291-8c1f-409e-8c84-0416544992b7
Bull, Sofia
67e74291-8c1f-409e-8c84-0416544992b7

Bull, Sofia (2016) Midwives, medicine and natural births: female agency in Scandinavian birthing shows. Critical Studies in Television, 11 (2), 177-189. (doi:10.1177/1749602016642934).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article examines how the often juxtaposed concepts ‘natural birth’ and ‘medically assisted birth’ figure in Jordemødrene, Barnmorskorna and En unge i minuten: three Scandinavian documentary programmes depicting midwifery and childbirth. Through comparisons between US and UK birthing shows, the study considers the socio-historically specific construction of birthing practices and the figure of the midwife. Non-invasive approaches to labour are celebrated as symbols of an essential ‘women’s culture’ that asserts female agency, but medical technology and pain medication also figure as potential tools for female empowerment, thus rendering the midwife a malleable figurehead for multiple strands of feminism.

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CST_Midwives.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: March 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 April 2016
Published date: 1 July 2016
Organisations: Film

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385596
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385596
ISSN: 1749-6020
PURE UUID: c693a399-8d11-47a5-b41f-bcdaad494f73

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Mar 2016 14:22
Last modified: 06 Aug 2019 18:32

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