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McCourtChildbirth

Childbirth, Midwifery and Concepts of Time

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All cultures are concerned with the business of childbirth, so much so that it can never be described as a purely physiological or even psychological event. Childbirth, Midwifery and Concepts of Time draws together work from a range of anthropologists and midwives who have found anthropological approaches useful in their work. Using case studies from a variety of cultural settings, the writers explore the centrality of the way time is conceptualized, marked and measured to the ways of perceiving and managing childbirth: how women, midwives and other birth attendants are affected by issues of power and control, but also actively attempt to change established forms of thinking and practice. The stories are engaging as well as critical and invite the reader to think afresh about time, and about reproduction.

Hardcover. USA 2009

SKU: TE5389

All cultures are concerned with the business of childbirth, so much so that it can never be described as a purely physiological or even psychological event. Childbirth, Midwifery and Concepts of Time draws together work from a range of anthropologists and midwives who have found anthropological approaches useful in their work. Using case studies from a variety of cultural settings, the writers explore the centrality of the way time is conceptualized, marked and measured to the ways of perceiving and managing childbirth: how women, midwives and other birth attendants are affected by issues of power and control, but also actively attempt to change established forms of thinking and practice. The stories are engaging as well as critical and invite the reader to think afresh about time, and about reproduction.

About the editor

Christine McCourt studied for her degree and doctorate in social anthropology at the London School of Economics. Her doctoral work, an ethnographic study of the closure of a long-stay psychiatric hospital, was explicitly intended to be ‘applied anthropology’. From 2006 to 2010 she was Professor of Anthropology and Health, at Thames Valley University and she is now Professor of Maternal and Child Health at City University London. Her research and teaching is mainly focused on culture and organisation of biomedicine, maternal and infant care, and social and cultural issues affecting women’s health.

Hardcover. USA 2009

CONTENTS

List of Figures

Foreword
Ronnie Frankenberg

Acknowledgements

Introduction

PART I: HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT

Chapter 1. From Tradition to Modernity: Time and Childbirth in Historical Perspective
Christine McCourt and Fiona Dykes

Chapter 2. Cosmologies, Concepts and Theories: Time and Childbirth in Cross-cultural Perspective
Christine McCourt

PART II: TIME AND CHILDBIRTH PRACTICES

Chapter 3. Counting Time in Pregnancy and Labour
Soo Downe and Fiona Dykes

Chapter 4. The Progress of Labour: Orderly Chaos?
Clare Winter and Margie Duff

Chapter 5. Time and Midwifery Practice
Trudy Stevens

Chapter 6. “Waiting on Birth”: Management of Time and Place in a Birth Centre
Denis Walsh

Chapter 7. Management of Time in Aboriginal and Northern Midwifery Settings
Gisela Becker

PART III: TIME AND CHILDBIRTH EXPERIENCES

Chapter 8. Narrative Time: Stories, Childbirth and Midwifery
Ólöf Ólafsdóttir and Mavis Kirkham

Chapter 9. How Long Have I Got? Time in Labour: Themes from Women’s Birth Stories
Christine McCourt

Chapter 10. “Feeding All the Time”: Women’s Temporal Dilemmas around Breastfeeding in Hospital
Fiona Dykes

Chapter 11. Living with “Uncertainty”: Women’s Experience of Breastfeeding in the Current Japanese Social Context
Naoko Hashimoto

Conclusion

Notes on Contributors
Index

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