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Tensions around risks in pregnancy: A typology of women's experiences of surveillance medicine

Published in Social Science & Medicine. 2013, vol. 93, p. 55-63
Abstract The experience of pregnancy is currently driven by the development of surveillance medicine focused on the monitoring of a wide range of risks. Research usually relies on binary categories opposing women accepting medical surveillance to those resisting it. Recent studies have however underlined the complexity of women’s experiences, as well as the ambivalence of their attitudes toward medical procedures and recommendations. Based on 47 qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted in Switzerland between 2008 and 2009, this paper presents the diversity of pregnant women’s experiences of surveillance medicine through the description of four contrasting groups : “endorsing surveillance medicine”, “coping with risks”, “striving for certainty” and “questioning surveillance medicine”. Taking into account various risks related to pregnancy, these empirically-grounded groups are discussed in relation to the cultural dynamics of contemporary risk discourses.
Keywords SwitzerlandPregnancyRiskSurveillance medicineWomen’s experiencesTypology
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Project FNS: L’information et la gestion des risques dans le suivi de la grossesse : le contexte juridique et sociologique de la relation médecin-patiente
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HAMMER, Raphaël, BURTON-JEANGROS, Claudine. Tensions around risks in pregnancy: A typology of women's experiences of surveillance medicine. In: Social Science & Medicine, 2013, vol. 93, p. 55-63. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:32827

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Deposited on : 2014-01-07

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