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Françoise Légey and Childbirth in Morocco

Jonathan G. Katz

choices, and sexual activity.” 13 In addition, though she was herself a pioneering woman doctor, Légey's plan to “modernize” midwifery played a role in a broader Protectorate effort that undermined the authority of indigenous female healthcare workers. As

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Childbirth, Midwifery, and Concepts of Time by McCourt, Christine


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Place of Birth and Concepts of Wellbeing

An Analysis from Two Ethnographic Studies of Midwifery Units in England

Christine McCourt, Juliet Rayment, Susanna Rance, and Jane Sandall

hospital obstetric unit was geographically difficult. Previously called Maternity Homes, they were commonly known as ‘isolated GP units’ ( Macfarlane and Mugford 2000 ) and under recent policies were reconstituted as freestanding midwifery units. As care

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Midwifery and Concepts of Time

Lesley Page

Childbirth: Midwifery and Concepts of Time Edited by Christine McCourt Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009, ISBN 978-1-84545-586-6 (hardback only) 272 pp. excl. bibliog., index. £55.00.

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Problems Don't Care about Disciplinary Boundaries

Regina F. Bendix


Interdisciplinary collaboration is a sensible approach for addressing complex problems. However, academic training and the resulting disciplinary habitus (and competition) often leave such collaborative skills woefully underdeveloped. This contribution outlines how ethnographic sensibilities and skills may contribute to overcoming borders between disciplinary practitioners and enhancing self-awareness within and across scientific and scholarly practice. It thus proposes ethnographic attention as interdisciplinary midwifery.

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Practising in the Field

A Narrative of Public Health Research

Lindsay Sprague

The following is a narrative of a medical researcher and her experiences in the field. Una Lynch, a resident of Northern Ireland and currently a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the Queen’s University Belfast, has engaged in extensive public health research using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Though historically, as anthropologists, we have valued the contributions fieldwork has offered to our understanding of culture, personality, lifestyles and behaviours, we seldom encounter fieldwork within other facets of academia. How is ethnography used, therefore, within other disciplines? What contributions has ethnography brought to knowledge outside the borders of anthropology?

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Barbaric Custom and Colonial Science

Teaching the Female Body in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan

Janice Boddy

This chapter explores the process of reforming ‘refractory’ female bodies in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. It discusses the goals of the Midwives Training School in Omdurman and the methods of the British women who established it during the 1920s and 1930s in light of ethnographic data from the rural north. I suggest that while midwifery training had contradictory outcomes and failed to under- mine the logic that underpinned the practice of pharaonic (female) circumcision, some aspects of it became woven into the fabric of Sudanese daily life in unexpected ways. Parties to the colonizing venture looked, inescapably, in two directions at once: to the imme- diate situation in which they were mutually engaged, and to the respective cultural contexts of health from whence they came and in which they remained grounded.

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Placing Wellbeing

Anthropological Perspectives on Wellbeing and Place

Emilia Ferraro and Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti

their analysis on Midwifery Units in England, which have been intended specifically as locations to promote a sense of wellbeing by seeking to have a therapeutic effect on babies and birthing women. Their article reveals that the focus on the place of

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‘But Isn’t It the Baby that Decides When It Will Be Born?’

Temporality and Women’s Embodied Experiences of Giving Birth

Joanna White

‘regression’ or ‘reversal’, and the factors influencing this, appear to be seldom discussed outside midwifery circles, with only limited research conducted on this phenomenon. 14 Debra’s midwife suggests an intriguing silence about this phenomenon within

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Public Health in Eastern Europe

Visible Modernization and Elusive Gender Transformation

Evguenia Davidova

, Kind-Kovacs, and Bernasconi's anthology includes a few gender-sensitive contributions on midwifery, women's alcoholism, and politics of reproduction but does not explore issues of masculinity in the chapters focusing on war heroes. In other words