In pursuit of modernity: The making of "modern mothers" in Northern Vietnam (PhD thesis)


This dissertation examines the relationship between maternity and modernity in Ha Noi, Vietnam. It explores how modernizing factors have impacted childbirth and postpartum practices, discourse and experiences among urban women, midwives and doctors. The modernizing process in reproduction refers to an increase in the employment of medical technology and pharmacology to aid childbirth, the decline in the use of midwives, the commodification and consumption patterns of products related to maternity, and the implementation of population control policies such as the One-or-Two Child Policy in Vietnam. These factors collectively promote a medicalized view of reproduction, that is, the view that childbirth and reproduction are medical or illnessrelated conditions that require intervention and control by medical personnel, technology, and the state. In discussing the relationship between maternity and modernity, I also placed the concept of “modernity” under scrutiny. Scholars have recognized that modernity is not a monolithic western entity but a heterogeneous experience acted out on an individual, local, and global terrain. Accordingly, I explored the local meanings and embodiments of modern births in Ha Noi, the capital of Vietnam. The fusion of the modernizing process, such as the medicalization of childbirth, and the Vietnamese cultural customs associated with childbirth and motherhood invariably produced unique forms of discourses, practices, and experiences.

Độc giả quan tâm có thể đọc bản preview luận án này tại đây từ YAV: Luong, Victoria H. 2007 In pursuit of modernity The making of modern mothers in Northern Vietnam (PhD thesis preview)