Victoria University

Off the Beaten Track: a Postmodern Feminist Analysis of Rural Midwifery and Rural Media Health Discourses

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Show simple item record Patterson, Jean Ann 2007-06-12T04:03:55Z 2007-06-12T04:03:55Z 2002 2002
dc.description.abstract Change was a constant companion for New Zealand midwives during the 1990's. The Nurses Amendment Act 1990, that restored midwifery autonomy was only one of a constellation of changes that saw significant restructuring of the health services in small communities. The purpose of this study was to look at the issues for a group of midwives in rural South Otago who took the opportunity to work independently and offer local women a choice of maternity care during this time. In this study, five rural midwives were interviewed and met subsequently in a focus group. The transcripts were analyzed using discourse analysis informed by a postmodern/feminist theoretical framework. In addition the local newspapers covering the years 1990-1999 were read with a particular focus on the reports of health changes. These texts were also subjected to a discourse analysis using Lyotard's (1997) notion of language games, and bell hook's (1990) ideas around strategic positioning for the marginalised. To practise autonomously, the midwives in this study perform an intricate dance, balancing the contradictions of competing discourses. Their positioning and place of difference is tensioned primarily by a deep sense of community commitment and entanglement, and also by a feeling of physical and perceptual distance from their urban midwifery colleagues. This is underpinned by a staunch belief in women's ability to birth safely in their local area. The findings of this study suggest that the continuation of a comprehensive rural midwifery service is challenged by changes in the arrangement and funding of rural health, plus the increasing use of medical and technological intervention in childbirth. For rural midwifery to survive, this study shows that midwives need to remain flexible and alert while continuing to align themselves with women who are their primary source of support and inspiration. At the same time, they need to forge strategic linkages and alliances, both local and national that will allow them to move and reposition in order to continue their work and provide a realistic childbirth choice for rural women. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Maternity care en_NZ
dc.subject Midwifery services en_NZ
dc.subject Small communities en_NZ
dc.subject Remote communities en_NZ
dc.subject Rural communities en_NZ
dc.subject Close-knit communities en_NZ
dc.subject Rural community en_NZ
dc.subject Reflective practice en_NZ
dc.subject Postmodern feminist en_NZ
dc.subject Discourse analysis en_NZ
dc.subject Interviews en_NZ
dc.subject Local newspapers en_NZ
dc.subject Focus group en_NZ
dc.title Off the Beaten Track: a Postmodern Feminist Analysis of Rural Midwifery and Rural Media Health Discourses en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 321100 Nursing en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ Midwifery en_NZ Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ Master's en_NZ Master of Arts (Applied) en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.cinahl Health Care Reforms en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.cinahl Professional Autonomy en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.cinahl Women's Health en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified en_NZ

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