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Lack of voice or conspiracy of silence : midwives, power and speaking out


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Giannaros, Heather 1997 , 'Lack of voice or conspiracy of silence : midwives, power and speaking out', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Through my own personal journey of midwifery practice it seems that because we
have a lack of voice, and this is indeed how most of us know our worlds of practice,
we unconsciously engage in a conspiracy of silence. In this instance I use the word
"conspiracy" to metaphorically describe a kind of 'togetherness'. This kind of
'togetherness' is not wholly desirable, but to me, it has the potential to conjure up a
site of struggle, perhaps a site of resistance. If, in togetherness, we can keep and
maintain our silence, I suggest then, by coming to understand how we may have lost
our voices, perhaps in togetherness there is a chance for speech.
This thesis is written from a critical feminist post structuralist perspective calling into
question the gendered discursive practices of medicine which have effectively
marginalised and silenced midwives and birthing women. For this, and many other
reasons, I believe feminist participatory research, its methodology and methods were
appropriate for this project. Through sharing our stories (those of women midwives,
including myself), actively participating in 'analysis-in-action', and the deeper
analysis afforded by critical feminist post structuralism, we were not only able to
question medicine's role in our voicelessness, but to expose tensions between
ourselves as midwives, and midwifery and feminism.
Throughout this thesis I wonder 'who I am ?', and 'where am I?' in an effort to
critique the relationships between the subject positions we occupy as women and
midwives. By discussing location of the 'self in feminist frameworks, I have
endeavoured to raise new meanings for our lack of voice, and bring forth the tensions
which surround our silence, and what this might mean for birthing women.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Giannaros, Heather
Keywords: Midwives, Midwives
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1997 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (MN)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references

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