Taking Care, Bringing Life: A Post-structuralist Feminist Analysis of Maternal Discourses of Mothers and Dais in India

Health Commun. 2018 Apr;33(4):423-432. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2016.1278492. Epub 2017 Feb 3.


My post-structuralist 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 cocreate narratives of our ways of maternal experiences articulated in public discourse to sustain equitability of knowledge traditions in migrant urban Third World contexts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Feminism*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Midwifery*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Poverty
  • Pregnancy
  • Transients and Migrants*