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Making Sense of Motherhood: A Narrative Approach by Tina Miller

By Tina Miller

Turning into a mom adjustments lives in lots of methods, and this e-book explores how ladies try and make feel of, and narrate their studies of, first-time motherhood in industrialized society. It charts the social, cultural and ethical contours of latest motherhood and engages with sociological and feminist debates on how selves are constituted, maintained and narrated.

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During the birth, which for most women takes place in the home, the vast majority of women will either be alone or attended by female relatives and/or other women experienced in helping during labour and childbirth (Islam, 1980). McConville has described a hierarchy of those who attend women during birth in the following way: doctors, nurse-midwives, family welfare visitors, traditional birth attendants, dais, and then the relatives of the women in labour (1988:141). More recently there have been concerted efforts by aid organisations to train traditional birth attendants in an attempt to reduce high maternal mortality rates (see chapter 7).

They state ‘we do not advocate total relativism that treats all narratives as texts of fiction. On the other hand, we do not take narratives at face value, as complete and accurate representations of reality. , 1998:8). Collecting and analysing narratives of private experience and placing them in a public arena can, then, provide a means of making ‘visible a different, alternative social and cultural order within which to define our identity and subjectivity’ (Edwards and Ribbens, 1998:13). A narrative approach is, then, one of a subset of qualitative research methods in which, just as in other types of qualitative research, different approaches to analysis are utilised.

I was welcomed by the local women and invited to join in many of their activities. These involved such things as weaving baskets and mats, which were produced on a regular basis in order to raise money for the local Methodist church. The church provided a key focus for many of the villagers and missionaries had set up a hospital in Kekengala and a college on a nearby island. The wontok system was also a feature of Solomon Island life. This involved reciprocal obligations that spread out from direct family members to friends, neighbours and fellow villagers and beyond, all of whom were considered to be each other’s wontoks.

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