Re-discovering the material body in midwifery through an exploration of theories of embodiment

Deborah L. Davis, Kim Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The body is of central concern to midwifery yet, as a profession, we have largely failed to grapple with the corpus of feminist and other literature that deals with the body. This article provides an overview of the ways in which the body has been theorised, from the essential and biological through to postmodern theories of the body. We draw attention to the limitations of some of these approaches, suggesting that Elizabeth Grosz's schema of the Möbius strip (representing the inter-relationships between the inside and outside, culture and nature) provides a useful framework for thinking about the body; one that avoids a biological materialism that disregards the effect of culture, and a cultural determinism that neglects the corporeal body. Recognising the multiplicity and fluidity of women's experiences of pregnancy, their body and childbearing emancipates us from the limitations imposed by the masculinist Western philosophical traditions that we have inherited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalMidwifery
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Midwifery
Pregnancy

Cite this

@article{9a532465e6d74af693aad86c85c53442,
title = "Re-discovering the material body in midwifery through an exploration of theories of embodiment",
abstract = "The body is of central concern to midwifery yet, as a profession, we have largely failed to grapple with the corpus of feminist and other literature that deals with the body. This article provides an overview of the ways in which the body has been theorised, from the essential and biological through to postmodern theories of the body. We draw attention to the limitations of some of these approaches, suggesting that Elizabeth Grosz's schema of the M{\"o}bius strip (representing the inter-relationships between the inside and outside, culture and nature) provides a useful framework for thinking about the body; one that avoids a biological materialism that disregards the effect of culture, and a cultural determinism that neglects the corporeal body. Recognising the multiplicity and fluidity of women's experiences of pregnancy, their body and childbearing emancipates us from the limitations imposed by the masculinist Western philosophical traditions that we have inherited.",
keywords = "Body, Embodiment, Midwifery, Postmodern",
author = "Davis, {Deborah L.} and Kim Walker",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.1016/j.midw.2008.10.004",
language = "English",
volume = "26",
pages = "457--462",
journal = "Midwifery",
issn = "0266-6138",
publisher = "Churchill Livingstone",
number = "4",

}

Re-discovering the material body in midwifery through an exploration of theories of embodiment. / Davis, Deborah L.; Walker, Kim.

In: Midwifery, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2010, p. 457-462.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Re-discovering the material body in midwifery through an exploration of theories of embodiment

AU - Davis, Deborah L.

AU - Walker, Kim

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - The body is of central concern to midwifery yet, as a profession, we have largely failed to grapple with the corpus of feminist and other literature that deals with the body. This article provides an overview of the ways in which the body has been theorised, from the essential and biological through to postmodern theories of the body. We draw attention to the limitations of some of these approaches, suggesting that Elizabeth Grosz's schema of the Möbius strip (representing the inter-relationships between the inside and outside, culture and nature) provides a useful framework for thinking about the body; one that avoids a biological materialism that disregards the effect of culture, and a cultural determinism that neglects the corporeal body. Recognising the multiplicity and fluidity of women's experiences of pregnancy, their body and childbearing emancipates us from the limitations imposed by the masculinist Western philosophical traditions that we have inherited.

AB - The body is of central concern to midwifery yet, as a profession, we have largely failed to grapple with the corpus of feminist and other literature that deals with the body. This article provides an overview of the ways in which the body has been theorised, from the essential and biological through to postmodern theories of the body. We draw attention to the limitations of some of these approaches, suggesting that Elizabeth Grosz's schema of the Möbius strip (representing the inter-relationships between the inside and outside, culture and nature) provides a useful framework for thinking about the body; one that avoids a biological materialism that disregards the effect of culture, and a cultural determinism that neglects the corporeal body. Recognising the multiplicity and fluidity of women's experiences of pregnancy, their body and childbearing emancipates us from the limitations imposed by the masculinist Western philosophical traditions that we have inherited.

KW - Body

KW - Embodiment

KW - Midwifery

KW - Postmodern

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77954621676&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.midw.2008.10.004

DO - 10.1016/j.midw.2008.10.004

M3 - Article

VL - 26

SP - 457

EP - 462

JO - Midwifery

JF - Midwifery

SN - 0266-6138

IS - 4

ER -