Physicians' Discourse for Establishing Authoritative Knowledge in Birthing Work and Reducing the Presence of the Granny Midwife
Article first published online: 27 MAR 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Historical Sociology
How to Cite
D. Bonaparte, A. (2014), Physicians' Discourse for Establishing Authoritative Knowledge in Birthing Work and Reducing the Presence of the Granny Midwife. Journal of Historical Sociology. doi: 10.1111/johs.12045
- Article first published online: 27 MAR 2014
This study examines regulatory efforts directed toward southern Black granny midwives in the early 20th century. Using Black feminist theory, I analyze physicians' written anti-midwifery advocacy in The Journal of the American Medical Association and The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association as evidence of the presence of inter-occupational conflict between physicians and Black grannies. I argue that doctors advocated for enhanced midwifery education and midwifery supervision to eliminate midwives while defining physicians as heroes in birthing rooms. This study illustrates how physicians' professional writings substantiated doctors as veritable experts in birthing work rather than strategically targeting Black midwives.