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The Natural Childbirth Movement in the Czech Republic

HREŠANOVÁ, E. The Natural Childbirth Movement in the Czech Republic. In Rebellious Parents: Parental Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2017, s. 277-307. ISBN: 978-0-253-02626-2
Jazyk publikace: eng
Anglický název: The Natural Childbirth Movement in the Czech Republic
Rok vydání: 2017
Místo konání: Bloomington
Název zdroje: Indiana University Press
Autoři: Mgr. Ema Hrešanová Ph.D.
Abstrakt EN: This text discusses parental collective efforts to challenge existing medical and state authorities in the Czech Republic and to change the current birth care system for the better. In the Czech Republic the issue of ‘natural childbirth’ has recently become a headline, covering newspaper pages almost every other day. In this paper I map the trajectory of the natural childbirth movement to examine forces that have shaped a particular course of this social movement. I employ the theory of health related social movements and new social movements to explore birth activists’ strategies and understandtheir perspective in depth. To meet these aims, I have been conducting a long-term ethnography of the movement since spring 2011. In this article I particularly build on participant observations of key public events, five in-depth interviews with birth activists and 19 narrative interviews with women who gave birth naturally; qualitative media analysis of 77 media contributions, and the “netnography” (computer mediated ethnography) of Czech childbirth activism. In my analysis I draw a particular attention to the role of science and medicine in the Czech society,and power dynamics between medical and state authorities, and the birth activists. I argue that in the Czech cultural context a traditionally powerful position of doctors and medicine and the related general scientization of the society are biggest obstacles to the movement’ s success, as these prevent midwives and women-birth care users from becoming equal partners in negotiations with medical and state authorities.
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