This thesis investigates the discoursive construction of labour and birth in different publications by the Danish Health Authority and how the discoursive conception of labour and birth reflects in articulations in interviews with two midwives and two new mothers. The aim of the thesis is to study the discursively negotiated space in the practice of labour and birth, human and body in order to analyse and discuss possible subject positions for post-partum women. Using the French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault’s discourse theory and conception of the subject and power together with Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s operationalisation of self-same theoretic perspective and furthermore Bronwyn Davies and Ron Harré’s positioning theory, this study is conducted within a poststructuralist perspective, which contributes to broadening the negotiated space of birth practice, subject and the biological body.
Drawing upon this perspective, two different discourses about labour and birth are identified: “The natural discourse” and “The risk discourse”. I illustrate how the practice of birthing is discoursively idealising the natural birth, but only when everything can be conceptualised as being “normal”; a category which, in the risk discourse, seems very limited. By separating the woman from her body as a biopolitical form of power, she is thereby governed to give birth naturally at all costs, unless anything indicates any risk; in other words, risk management overrules the idealisation of nature. As a consequence, the subject and her birthing body are supposed to navigate in this complex negotiated space between naturalness and risk, which complicates a successful outcome. Based on the analysis I discuss the possible subject positions and attempt to broaden the perspective by introducing the empirically shown importance of the relation between the midwife and the woman/couple, showing how “the good birth” might not merely consist of the naturalness or risk management dichotomy.
|Uddannelser||Psykologi, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||12 jul. 2018|
|Vejledere||Nina Rus Ingvorsen & Rashmi Singla|