Taking care, bringing Life: A post-structuralist feminist analysis of maternal discourses of mothers and dais in India
Links to Fileshttps://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2016.1278492
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Type of Work34 pages
journal articles preprints
Citation of Original PublicationAgarwal, V. (2018). Taking Care, Bringing Life: A Post-structuralist Feminist Analysis of Maternal Discourses of Mothers and Dai s in India. Health communication, 33(4), 423-432.
Poststructuralist feminist theory
South Asian feminism
Untrained birth attendants
Antenatal and birthing practices of women
My poststructuralist feminist reading of the antenatal and birthing practices of women (N=25) living in a basti in India makes visible how the meanings of maternal experiences constituted as our ways open discursive spaces for the mothers and dais as procreators to: challenge (i.e., question the authority of), co-opt (i.e., conditionally adopt), and judge (i.e., employ sanctioned criteria to regulate) competing knowledge production forms. In critiquing maternal knowledge as feminist discourse, the women’s strategies contribute theoretically to an integrative construction of care by reclaiming displaced knowledge discourses and diversity in meaning production. Pragmatically, consciousness-raising collectives comprising the mothers and dais can co-create narratives of our ways of maternal experiences articulated in public discourse to sustain equitability of knowledge traditions in migrant urban Third World contexts.