Jean Douche

Doctor of Philosophy, (Midwifery)
Study Completed: 2007
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Citation

Thesis Title
Caesarean section in the absence of clinical indications. Discourses constituting choice in childbirth

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

With advances in technology, childbearing women have a greater variety of options. Controversial, is the option of a caesarean section, regardless of clinical need. Ms Douché explored the discourses constructing women’s choice for a caesarean section, in the absence of clinical indicators. Data came from the talk and texts of women, midwives, an obstetrician, professional journals and media publications. The study affirmed that inscriptions surrounding choice in childbirth are shaped through a multiplicity of discourses underpinned by social and institutional practices. Whether caesarean, as an optional extra, can be explained in terms of a libertarian imperative, an embodiment of lifestyle, the satiation of desire, the attenuation of fear or the avoidance of risk, democratising this choice has exposed a pathologising paradox. This paradox is where the normal emerges as the abnormal, and the abnormal emerges as the normal.

Supervisors
Associate Professor Cheryl Benn
Professor Jenny Carryer

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