Embodiment and Disembodiment in Child-Birth Narratives

M. Akrich, B. Pasveer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this article, our concern is to describe how body(ies) and self are performed in women’s birth narratives through the mediation of a number of significant elements, including technical devices. We will show how, in these narratives, (1) action is distributed among a series of actants, including professionals and technology; (2) that dichotomies appear which cannot be reduced to one of body/mind, but are more adequately described in terms of ‘body-in-labour’/’embodied self’, each of them being locally performed through the mediation of medical practices, knowledge and technologies, the definition of these elements and of their relations being specific to each obstetrical configuration; (3) that part of professionals’ activities is devoted to the detailed management of the articulation between the body-in-labour and the embodied self, and to monitoring their joint transformations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-84
JournalBody & Society
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


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