Normalization And “Outsiderhood”

Feminist Readings of a Neoliberal Welfare State

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This volume presents an illuminating analysis of the ways in which normalization processes and practices operate in a welfare state in an age of neoliberalism. This informative book problematizes the ...
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IMPOSSIBLE DEMANDS IN SEARCH OF A NORMAL BIRTH

Pp. 17-27 (11)

Diana Mulinari

Abstract

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.

Keywords:

birth, gender, ethnicity, health care institutions, midwives, fear of childbirth, neoliberalism, welfare state transformations, birth rituals, racism.

Affiliation:

Centre for Gender Studies, Lund University, Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden.