Childbirth Within the Risk Society



Despite the fact that the speciality of obstetrics is considered to be a high risk area, indeed it is estimated that in the UK, maternity services account for massive 60% of all the NHS litigation claims burden; scholarly activity in childbirth performance as part of the risk society is relatively underdeveloped when compared to other areas of health. It is the extent of the influence of risk upon the maternity services that makes this underdevelopment especially striking. In an effort to present childbirth as a worthwhile site for empirical investigation and theoretical discussion, this paper attempts to review the sociology of childbirth and to consolidate some of the multidisciplinary contributions made to date on childbirth within the risk society.