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Examining Childbirth in Contemporary American Society: Birthing a New Model of Parturition in a System of Competing Concepts of Reproduction, Technology, and Womanhood

By Alison Sipler

Abstract

How has biomedicine gained professionalization and authority? The author explores this notion by examining how medicine has come to reign as the dominant medical model, as well as how the scientific nature of medicine has medicalized the human physiological process and how this has affected the childbirth phenomenon. The significance of competing modes of contemporary childbirth, the technocratic and the wholistic models, as a meaningful tool in describing society’s attitudes about reproduction is discussed. How has capitalism motivated the monopolization of medicine, creating the dominant model of biomedicine? The idea that orthodox medicine s based around patriarchal provisions that frame birth as a mechanistic and production-oriented event where the woman and child are not conceptually connected and where the baby is merely the yield of a phenomenon with a capitalistic goal is uncovered. Methodology includes an examination into the rituals and symbols that are involved in the birthing experience, as well as the sociological factors involved in childbirth create an understanding for why the dominant model dominates

Year: 1998
OAI identifier: oai:triceratops.brynmawr.edu:10066/6966
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