IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS IN SEARCH OF A NORMAL BIRTH
Pp. 17-27 (11)
The aim of the article is to explore the construction of a “normal birth” and of a “normal
woman/mother”. The empirical material comes from field work in a birth clinic located in one of Sweden’s
big cities. The chapter begins with a short overview of the Swedish welfare regime, with a particular focus on
the (neo-liberal) changes that have occurred since the nineties. The second and third sections analyze the
empirical material from the fieldwork, with regard to issues of gender, ethnicity and nationhood. These are
followed by a brief conclusion.
birth, gender, ethnicity, health care institutions, midwives, fear of childbirth, neoliberalism, welfare state
transformations, birth rituals, racism.
Centre for Gender Studies, Lund University, Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden.