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A Critical Analysis of the Medical Model as used in the Study of Pregnancy and Childbirth.

van Teijlingen, E., 2005. A Critical Analysis of the Medical Model as used in the Study of Pregnancy and Childbirth. Sociological Research Online, 10 (2).

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One key concept in medical sociology/anthropology for the analysis of approaches to health and illness is the medical model. However, this medical model is not only applied at the analytical level, i.e. as a sociological tool, but it also appeals to health service providers at a practical level as a model of working practice. This paper challenges the uncritical use of the medical model by practitioners and social scientists alike. The purpose of this paper is to separate and analyse the three different levels of understanding expressed in any model of childbirth, whether medical or social: (1) the practical; (2) the ideological and (3) the analytical level. Social scientists are advised to reflect on the question: 'At what level am I using the medical model as a theoretical concept in my work?' This is necessary not only to avoid further confusion, but also to ensure that our sociological tools maintain their ability to analyse the social world appropriately, without becoming 'blunt' due to the uncritical use.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Birth, Childbirth, Medical Model, Medical Sociology, Midwifery, Pregnancy, Risk, Medicalisation, Social Model
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:12029
Deposited By: Prof Edwin van Teijlingen
Deposited On:01 Nov 2009 12:31
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:26


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