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Birth for some women in Pakistan : defining and defiling.

Chesney, Margaret (2004) Birth for some women in Pakistan : defining and defiling. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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The thesis presents an empirical study that examines the birth experiences of women who have given birth in Pakistan. It seeks to understand birth experiences from the perspective of sixteen women - a sample of women recruited through acquaintances in the Punjab district of Pakistan and a sample of Pakistani women living in the north of England recruited through an over-50's club. It sets the interviewees accounts of the pregnancies and birth within their accounts of their life stories. This material is supplemented through observations collated during a number of visits to Pakistan over several years: Human inquiry (Reason 1996) has underpinned a multi-method approach. Two focus groups, participant observation and in-depth interviews were the methods of choice. The aims of the study were, to contribute to a growmg discourse on birth internationally and to explore the life and birth experiences of a small number of women who have experienced birth in Pakistan. The methodology of choice was interpretive ethnography (Denzin 1997) with an anthropological bias. This was in keeping with the developing relationship between anthropology and midwifery. Reflection has been an important element of the research methodology and a reflective diary was kept throughout. Analysis was undertaken using adapted frameworks from Alasuutari's (1995), Polkinghorne's (1995) and Childress (1998) analytic models. The findings are arranged around one major theme, the dai (traditional birth attendant); her work, her life and her influence on birth for women in Pakistan. Sub-themes include, boy preference, the omnipresent medical model, birth systems, blood influences on life, shame and honour, and specifically from the women interviewed in the UK - coming to England and modernisation. Concepts that run through the whole are women's knowledge, the place of birth, western medical influence on birth practice and colonialism. Rich, thick, complex detail emerged from the women's stories and a dialectic framework was used to resolve multiple contradictions, such as, how women could be strong in the presence of adversity. The thesis is written in the first person, which is a practice in keeping with my personal philosophy and commonly accepted in qualitative work (Swanson-Kauffman 1986, Webb 1989, Binnie 1988). IX The fonnat is firstly to set the scene; then review some of the life influences for women in Pakistan. A chapter follows on the rationale and methodology, including the methods used. Thereafter, a chapter has been devoted to how, as a white western woman I influenced the study, followed by an introduction to the women interviewed, including some life and birth stories. It was decided not to put these into an appendix due to the centrality of the women to the study. To achieve the aim of the study, the final part of the thesis examines the findings using a dialectical framework and concludes with the use of Plato's allegory of the cave and the subsequent learning transformation that has taken place as a result of undertaking the research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > Nursing and Midwifery (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.683916
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 10:26
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2016 10:26
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15132

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