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Towards an 'optics of power': technologies of surveillance and discipline and case-loading midwifery practice in New Zealand

Citation

Davis, D and Walker, KN, Towards an 'optics of power': technologies of surveillance and discipline and case-loading midwifery practice in New Zealand, Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 20, (5) pp. 597-612. ISSN 0966-369X (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Taylor and Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/0966369X.2012.701199

Abstract

Midwives in New Zealand achieved professional autonomy in 1990 with an amendment to the Nurses Act 1977. Predicated on a natural approach to childbirth it was envisaged that midwifery would counter the trend of increasing medicalisation of childbirth. Some 20 years later, we continue to be concerned by increasing rates of intervention in childbirth including caesarean section operations. Midwifery practice is no longer supervised in a hierarchical arrangement with the obstetrician at its peak, however, we suggest that new and more subtle disciplinary mechanisms have come to the fore post-1990. Drawing on Foucault's concepts of the 'medical gaze' and the 'panopticon' we describe the ways in which midwifery practice (and through them the bodies of childbearing women) continues to be disciplined to conform to obstetric norms. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Midwifery
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health)
Objective Field:Women's Health
Author:Walker, KN (Professor Kim Walker)
ID Code:87119
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2013-11-07
Last Modified:2014-07-24
Downloads:0

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