Pregnant in Britain : a sociological approach to Asian and British women's experiences
Homans, Hilary (1980) Pregnant in Britain : a sociological approach to Asian and British women's experiences. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1752215~S15
Human reproduction should not be viewed independently
from social reproduction, for to do so limits the perspective
of the observer. This thesis examines the limitations of
previous studies of human reproduction from an anthropological,
psychological, medical and sociological view point. It
proposes an alternative feminist perspective which looks at
the totality of the pregnancy experience as expressed by
the women themselves.
Although all women perceive fundamental experiences in
common, related to their status as women in male dominated
societies, it is argued that there are significant socially
determined differences between women in the way they react
to these experiences. To establish the extent to which all
women have pregnancy experiences in common and to which they
have different experiences, two separate groups of women
(South Asian and indigenous British) were selected for study.
These women were interviewed twice during their pregnancy
(using a questionnaire and in—depth interviewing) in an
attempt to determine their expectations and experiences of
the maternal health services and the extent to which their social
class, ethnic background and parity, shaped these experiences.
Differences in utilisation of services emerge which are
based on the women's social class, length of education,
cultural background and parity. Tensions are apparent between
lay beliefs about health and illness in pregnancy and the
medical model which treats all pregnant women as potentially
pathological. The clinical model of pregnancy overlooks the
social meaning of pregnancy to the woman and her social
network and thus is inadequate in this respect.
Inevitably, the amount of support and advice pregnant women
receive from their social network varies considerably and is
closely related to social class and cultural background.
The thesis concludes with suggestions for structural changes
in society which are necessary if women are to have autonomy
over their actions (particularly in relation to reproduction).
These changes involve the erosion of sex, class, and race
differences in society, which at present ensure that certain
groups are better able to manipulate services to their needs.
A list of practical recommendations is detailed suggesting
specific points which, if implemented, would make women's future
pregnancy experiences richer and more rewarding.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Pregnancy -- Great Britain, Maternal health services -- Great Britain, South Asians -- Health and hygiene -- Great Britain, Women -- Social networks -- Great Britain, Women -- Social conditions|
|Official Date:||July 1980|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Sociology|
|Sponsors:||Social Science Research Council (Great Britain) ; Health Education Council|
|Extent:||, x, 641,  leaves|
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