Simply speaking, by social ontology I imagine an ontology of the social sphere. The question posed would concern the nature of social reality or being. I assume this embraces a relativist ontology that theorizes multiple (human) beings contributing to a variation of realities constructed through social processes. This relativist ontology might align with an epistemology of social constructionism, even post-structuralism.
The French philosopher Michel Foucault conceived reality is imposed on the subject through systems of power-knowledge, integral to the discourses and discursive practice the subject (being) enters into in everyday life. This is in contrast to a realist ontology that presupposes a 'real' reality awaiting discovery (supposedly by a rational human being). Allied to this realist view is an objectivist epistemology where truth and meaning reside within objects of interest, independent of consciousness.
Here chapter 1 Denzin &Lincoln, 2005, p. 11-12; Guba & Lincoln 2005, p, 203 may be of help.
There is an appraisal of a publication (forgotten author's name ) posted on a website by Tom Lawson of Cambridge University ( http://www.csog.econ.cam.au.uk ) which may give insight into this relatively unfamiliar (for me anyway) ontology and lead you to other sources . The title is 'Conception of social ontology.'
My PhD was informed by the theoretical ideas of Postructuralism. Re, Douché, J. (2007). Caesarean section in the absence of clinical indications: Discourses constituting choice in childbirth. Unpublished thesis submitted to Massey University Palmerston North (NZ).
Michel Foucault's (1972) work on Discourse -power- knowledge was very pertinent. For MF discourses are bodies of knowledge linked to power. Eg knowledge is an outcome of power and power is central to saying what counts as knowledge.
As far as the concept of institutionalized midwifery I can only speak about the NZ context, a history which portrays a struggle for control of childbirth. This is a well-documented in the several interesting historical texts by Donely, 1986; 1998; Mein-Smith, 1986, Papps and Olsen, 1987.
My thesis also incorporates feminist post-structuralist insights into how meanings are etched upon women's bodies shaping their embodied experience (being) illustrating how power relations, not only through medical discourse but also through the media, have shaped women's reality/ experience of childbirth. A summary can be found in Douché, J., 2011. Caesarean section in the absence of need: a pathologising parodox for public health. Nursing Inquiry 18 (2): 143- 153.
My interest also lies in the power of language; ie its strategic use, in shaping (women's) reality (eg Douché, J., 2009, Rhetorical (de)vices and the construction of a 'natural' caesarean in New Zealand College of Midwifes Journal Vol 40: 20-3).
Hope this helps and best wishes in your endeavours.
Jeanie Douché PhD RM
Adjunct Research Fellow,
Graduate School of Nursing Midwifery and Health,
Victoria University, Wellington.
From: A forum for discussion on midwifery and reproductive health research. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Denis Walsh
Sent: Tuesday, 20 March 2018 8:08 p.m.
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: The Social Ontology Of Power
Not to my knowledge but sounds like a great idea to expose our taken for granted assumptions about professional power and how it operates.
Have a reference for this exercise examining 'the firm' if you want to email me off list.
Dr Denis Walsh
Associate Professor in Midwifery
School of Health Sciences
University of Nottingham
12th Floor, Tower Block
Nottingham NG7 2RD
[log in to unmask]
Tel: +44 (0)115 8230987
From: A forum for discussion on midwifery and reproductive health research. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Pam
Sent: 19 March 2018 23:22
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: The Social Ontology Of Power
I wondered if anyone has any information.
Do you know if anyone has looked at the social ontology of power in relation to pregnant women or in relation to the concept of institutionalised midwifery?
Sent from my iPhone
This message and any attachment are intended solely for the addressee and may contain confidential information. If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender and delete the email and attachment.
Any views or opinions expressed by the author of this email do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Nottingham. Email communications with the University of Nottingham may be monitored where permitted by law.