Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Bilinda Straight

Second Advisor

Dr. Vincent Lyon-Callo

Third Advisor

Dr. Kristina Wirtz


Reproduction, birth, authoritative knowledge

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The primary focus of this study is to analyze the effects of authoritative knowledge and biomedical interventions on women’s role within their reproductive process as it occurs within the US.I explore the technological advances surrounding childbirth practices within the United States and how through this technology, biomedical forms of authoritative knowledge of birth practices have developed and how these changes have benefitted as well as hindered women. Through interviews and interactions with mothers and pregnant women I evaluate how medical interventions emotionally and physically affect women; evaluate the necessity of increasing technological interventions as opposed to low technology midwifery assisted births; and consider the future of birth practices in the United States. This research should be carefully considered when looking at childbirth practices, risk to mothers, homebirth movements, as well as when analyzing authoritative voices within succinct systems of care.

Included in

Anthropology Commons