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An investigation into how midwives make sense of the concept of risk : how do midwifery perceptions of risk impinge upon maternity care services

Scamell, Mandie (2011) An investigation into how midwives make sense of the concept of risk : how do midwifery perceptions of risk impinge upon maternity care services. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86473) (KAR id:86473)

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This thesis is the product of an ethnographic discourse analysis of midwifery talk and practice, and the data used to inform-this work was collected in the south-east of England. The analytical focus of the thesis is on how risk is understood within the context of midwifery knowledge and expertise and how this is expressed within contemporary childbirth performance. The proposition being made is that the meaning of risk should not be taken as a given and that, although much of routine midwifery activity circulates around sensitivity to risk, the precise meaning of risk is rarely articulated or questioned by practitioners.

By using a combination of both qualitative methodological and analytical devices, it has been possible to explore the social and political operations of the interpretative work midwives do when translating risk into meaningful action and the impact this has upon the way birth can be both imagined and performed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86473
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: midwives; midwifery; childbirth
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 13:53 UTC
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2022 14:52 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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