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Title: The childbearing experiences of Chinese and Scottish women in Scotland
Author: Cheung, Ngai Fen
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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My research questions are: 'How is childbearing constructed and experienced by Chinese and Scottish women having babies in Scotland?' and 'How may we explain any differences within and between the two groups of women'. The aims of the study are to further the understanding of cultural construction of 'choice' and 'control' over childbearing and to make some policy recommendations for the NHS maternity practices to improve women's experiences of childbearing, especially for Chinese women. This study focuses on the analysis of the meanings that women gave to their childbearing experiences. Having children was meaningful to Scottish and Chinese women in Scotland in different ways which are related to their social positions, beliefs and practices involved and the change in social status on the birth of a child. Different meanings demand different coping strategies in healthy childbearing between Scottish and Chinese women. It supports much earlier evidence in literature that childbearing is socially shaped and culturally specific. It develops further an understanding of the relationship between 'choice' and 'control'. Scottish women in the study were in a changing 'theme' of struggle between autonomy and control - between the mind and the body. Chinese women tried to 'fit in' with what was 'normal' in the host culture but at the same time retained elements of their original cultural practices which are still meaningful to them in the new social environment. The issues of 'choice' and 'control' in childbearing to Chinese women are regulated by the safety of the mother, the concern for the new-born and postnatal practices of zuo yuezi (sitting in the month). Although the issue of 'safety' in Britain may also occasionally outweigh the conflict with 'control' and 'choice', Scottish women take greater interest in their sense of control over their childbirth. 'Choice' and 'control' are therefore useful tools for them and for the other parties involved.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available