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All my babies: a midwife's own story. A critical examination of media, race, and granny midwifes

Tucker, Alysia (2018) All my babies: a midwife's own story. A critical examination of media, race, and granny midwifes. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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In the 1900s Black midwives, referred to as granny midwives, dominated the midwifery field in the United States. Over the last century their numbers drastically declined. In 2014, less than ten percent of new midwifery students entering the field were Black women. Factors attributing to the rapid reduction of Black midwives were national regulatory policies such as required licensure to practice and mandated supervision from physicians. These were promoted through public health campaigns in media and literature. The focus of this paper is to utilize critical discourse analysis (CDA) to highlight the role public discourse had in perpetuating racial biases toward Black midwives in the early 1900s, contributing to the lack of Black midwives seen today.
This paper is an analysis of an internationally acclaimed public health training film, All My Babies: A Midwife’s Own Story. The objectives of this research are to: 1.) explore how the political climate and national policies shaped the discourse of the film, 2.) identify reoccurring concepts, 3.) analyze how the discourse of the film maintained or challenged the existing social structure, and 4.) provide recommendations for future public health discourse.

The process for selecting the film was based on its international influence, distribution nationally, and the opportunity to analyze verbal and non-verbal discourse. The process for identifying concepts within the film was modeled from Norman Fairclough and Thomas Huckin’s framework for CDA.

Public health significance of this research: It is critical to communicate public health information equitably – accurately and fairly - to prevent furthering health inequities by gender and ethnicity. The benefit to using a CDA approach is that it explores the distribution of power and how it is maintained or challenged through public health discourse. This paper will use CDA to identify power with respect to racism in discourse that is easily overlooked. Once we recognize underpinnings of racial ideologies in our work, we can create media that promotes social justice through equitable representation.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tucker, Alysiaatucker006@gmail.comalt92
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairElias, Thistleelias@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee Co-ChairMendez, Daraddm10@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 27 April 2018
Date Type: Submission
Submission Date: 2 May 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 43
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Granny midwives in the 1900's and public health media.
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2019 19:47
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2019 19:47


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