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Should We Call the Midwife? How Culture Shapes Childbirth

To consider the different ways birth is shaped by society, sociologist Natalie Jolly spent two years as a midwife among Pennsylvania’s Amish communities. In this revealing talk, she compares how Amish homebirth differs from contemporary American birth practices, and in the process reveals how our culture shapes both our mind and body. Using childbirth as a starting point, she explores how society both produces and constrains the seemingly personal choices that we make, and how it shapes even the very physical experiences that we have. The talk also touches on themes of gender norms and social change.

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