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MIDWIFERY-RESEARCH  March 2018

MIDWIFERY-RESEARCH March 2018

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Subject:

Re: The Social Ontology Of Power

From:

Robyn Maude <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

A forum for discussion on midwifery and reproductive health research." <[log in to unmask]>, Robyn Maude <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 04:38:48 +0000

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text/plain

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Hi Pamela,
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 Unpublished thesis submitted to Massey University Palmerston North (NZ).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  

 
Jeanie Douché PhD RM
Adjunct Research Fellow,
Graduate School of Nursing Midwifery and Health,
Victoria University, Wellington.     


-----Original Message-----
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

Hi Pam,
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.

Best wishes,
Denis
Dr Denis Walsh
Associate Professor in Midwifery
School of Health Sciences
University of Nottingham
12th Floor, Tower Block
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD
[log in to unmask]
Tel: +44 (0)115 8230987


-----Original Message-----
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

Hi,

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?

Regards
Pamela Harnden
Sent from my iPhone



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