Recalling our social movement origins: diversity and the shifting practice of contemporary midwifery in B.C. - and - Representing Gardasil: a close textual analysis of print advertisements for the vaccine Gardasil

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Paying particular attention to the context of British Columbia I outline some transformations in midwifery practice in recent decades and highlight emerging challenges as midwifery shifts from a grassroots lay practice to a mainstream profession. With a focus on the social movement context of the origins of contemporary midwifery practice, I argue that the present midwifery system does not adequately contend with the diversity of birthing women’s interests. A close textual analysis of Gardasil print advertisements, found in North American medical association journals and fashion magazines, serves as an entry point for understanding some of the social values and assumptions at play in the representation of the vaccine Gardasil as a “cure for cancer.” I pay particular attention to how visual imagery, semantic relations, and hyponymy work to produce distinct representations of the world that simultaneously emerge out of and are immersed within discourses of health, disease, morality, and protection.

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Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Essays (M.A.)