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Download Birth as an American Rite of Passage (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care) epub

by Robbie E. Davis-Floyd

Why do so many American women allow themselves to become enmeshed in the standardized routines of technocratic childbirth—routines that can be insensitive, unnecessary, and even unhealthy? And why, in spite of the natural childbirth movement, has hospital birth become even more intensely technologized? Robbie Davis-Floyd argues that these obstetrical procedures are rituals that reflect a cultural belief in the superiority of science over nature. Her interviews with 100 mothers and many health care professionals reveal in detail both the trauma and the satisfaction women derive from childbirth. She also calls for greater cultural and medical tolerance of the alternative beliefs of women who choose to birth at home.
Download Birth as an American Rite of Passage (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care) epub
ISBN: 0520074394
ISBN13: 978-0520074392
Category: Medical Books
Subcategory: Medicine
Author: Robbie E. Davis-Floyd
Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (October 5, 1992)
Pages: 382 pages
ePUB size: 1793 kb
FB2 size: 1288 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 678
Other Formats: rtf lrf lit azw

Truthfully, I am not sure I would have bought this book if it hadn't been a required reading for a certification in Pre and PeriNatal Education. However, once I started reading it, I was truly so happy with the information and the author's format for presentation that I now have a second copy! One I can travel with for presentations, and one in my home (office). While it might be a bit slow in the beginning, everything presented prepares one for the later material - the result of her painstaking interviews.
Having never studied anthropology (3 university degrees - how did I avoid that?), I was unsure of what I would find. Very thoroughly researched and documented, BIRTH... presents information that would not otherwise be available to those of us in the birthing position - meaning, giving birth - nor those of us in advocacy or caring for birthing families.
She clearly establishes her thesis and then slowly and methodically unwraps the evidence. However, this is not a manifesto! the author is always inclusive and respectful of women and their chosen and unchosen experiences giving birth.
Truly, I am changed from reading this book. I have a deeper understanding of the birth of each of my sons and I am better prepared when talking with moms and dads at all stages of the birth journey. In addition, as I complete a certification in Pre and Peri Natal Education, this book has provided me the opportunity to be in the liminal space (which the author clarifies) in a sense - not advocating this or that - but being with the mother/father/child in what they want/wanted and experience/d.
For anyone in the pregnancy and childbirth arena, this is a must-read.
Ok, I'm feeling a little self-conscious being the first male reviewer of this book on Amazon, but here it is. Everyone should read this book, male or female, American or not, whatever. This book will change the way you look not only at childbirth but at the medical profession and society as a whole. It's a fascinating read. Most of the book is applicable throughout most of the world.

Pregnant women of course will get out of this a social critique regarding the approaches to childbirth in hospitals, how these support and ensure the continuation of patriarchy in our society, etc. Women who are not pregnant will gain from it a different sense of modern medicine and society as a whole. Men are likely to be confronted with a great deal of information about the nature of culture and things we take for granted all the time.

In the end, this is a solid piece of anthropology, and moreover it does well what women's studies are supposed to do: provide a new angle over well-trodden ground which explores the cultural contradictions regarding gender roles in modern society. This is not a book full of laments of lost prestige (as stereotypes might lead one to presume), but rather a careful, reasoned critique of how our culture operates and how this is intensified during the childbirth process. It further explores why so many women accept and embrace patriarchy in childbirth.

More to the point, this book will challenge how you look at health care more generally and its relationship to societal values. Highly recommended.
I found this book to be fascinating and so much of it rang true. I recommend it to anyone wanting to understand how society is so messed up...IT STARTS AT BIRTH!

A fantastic quote that sums up the book is the current birth rituals in the hospital ensures that a mother "...will be willing to give her baby over to society's institutions (hospitals for its medical care, schools for its socialization) for the rest of its life."

I mean, most women actually think that they could not have given birth to their baby without their doctor when millions of women have been doing this long before them (I even had my children at home). This is absurd. This is a very convenient message to ingrain in new mothers. The feeling of inadequacy 9and fear) to care for a child from the start perpetuates the medical industry as mothers follow the advice of the "experts" from what to feed them to what to inject in their bodies and eventually how they should be taught and what. Mothers and fathers do not raise their children any more society's institutions do and the children are the victims. Society is getting sicker and we wonder why.

Do you think these trusted "experts" are going to tell us that we'd be fine without them? They would be running themselves out of business. Of course, they won't they continue to tell us that we need them even more.

Robbie Davis-Floyd does a great job in documenting how we've come to this point in our history from an anthropologist point of view.