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Birthing Work

The Collective Labour of Childbirth

Authors: McKinnon, Katharine

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  • Engages influential new theory on assemblage to explore the politically and ethically charged area of childbirth, and in doing so promises an important intervention in a falsely divided area of social life
  • Draws the focus away from the often binarised framework of ‘the whys and hows’ of childbirth, to instead look at how taking a new materialist approach can help us think through this form of care-work in a new way
  • Extends existing understandings of agency in the context of birth, particularly the myriad agencies of the more than human in this context
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eBook 42,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-15-0010-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 51,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-15-0009-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This book traces the assemblage that comes into being in the spaces and experiences of childbirth. Charting the contributions of the multiple human and non-human actors that contribute to the birth experience, it offers a new perspective on childbirth that cuts across the often emotional debates about natural versus medicalised birth. Drawing on ethnographic interviews with mothers, midwives and obstetricians, it provides an insight into the collective endeavours that shape birth. In doing so, it also explores who does the work of childbirth, expanding the boundaries for who (and what) is responsible for this collective labour and highlighting the interdependencies that characterise it. Structured around eight chapters that each focus on a different actor in the birth space, the volume argues that pregnancy and childbearing brings us into new relationships: with ourselves, with the child to be born, our partners and families, those who care for us, and with more-than-human others.

About the authors

Dr Katharine McKinnon is a human geographer whose work engages with community economies, gender, development and care. She holds a PhD in Human Geography from The Australian National University and her work is informed by post-development theory and feminist economic geography. She is a member of the Community Economies Collective and holds an inaugural Tracey Banivanua Mar Research Fellowship at La Trobe University, Australia.

Reviews

“In this fantastic contribution, Katharine McKinnon provides mothers, birthing professionals and academics stuck in the “birth wars” with tools to unpack the birthing experience. Readers will be enthralled with the wide array of options to negotiate the birthing space and process. Birthing Work is filled with gripping stories, of McKinnon’s own birthing experiences and that of a range of women and birthing professionals. This is a must read for all those involved in the work of child birth.” (Gerda Roelvink, author of Building Dignified Worlds: Geographies of Collective Action)

“This book doesn’t just nudge old debates about birth in different directions; it spurs them into entirely new territory prompting readers to consider how humans and more-than-humans assemble around birth. Weaving together stories and conversations with mothers, midwives and doctors, Katherine McKinnon highlights the diversity of experiences of childbirth, resisting any singular universal truth. Babies, bodies, beds, institutions, machines and clocks act collectively to shape pregnancy and birth, enabling a range of different processes to unfold. Birthing Work is an important volume for human geographers but also for anyone interested in radically rethinking childbirth, labour and love.” (Robyn Longhurst, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and Professor of Geography, University of Waikato, New Zealand)

“This small book about birth is a gold mine of observations, reflections and conjectures about the terrain of human birth. The terrain of childbirth is a disputed territory in our society. Dr McKinnon describes all the players, both animate and inanimate, in that disputed terrain. The book goes beyond the disputes and offers rich insights into the many corners of childbirth. The book draws on the experience of individuals; it draws on several disciplines, including midwifery, obstetrics, philosophy, biology, sociology, human geography and quantitative epidemiology and thereby suggests ways of thinking and acting beyond our current constraints.” (Andrew Bisits, Obstetrician, Maternity Medical Co-Director at Royal Hospital for Women, and Conjoint Associate Professor at UNSW School of Women and Children’s Health)


Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 42,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-15-0010-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 51,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-15-0009-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Birthing Work
Book Subtitle
The Collective Labour of Childbirth
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Pivot
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-15-0010-7
DOI
10.1007/978-981-15-0010-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-15-0009-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 144
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics