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Un-resistive reproduction? Medical hegemony, pregnancy, and reality television.

  • Women'S Studies.
  • Mass Communications.
  • Computer Science
  • Medicine


A new trend of unscripted, reality television programming chronicling the real-life childbirth experiences of American women and families has gained considerable ground in recent years. These programs, especially Discovery Health's BirthDay and The Learning Channel's A Baby Story, record, edit and broadcast the prenatal, childbirth, and postnatal health care of "everyday" women volunteers, including their physical, social, and emotional concerns. This research study focuses attention on the authoritative, technological and therefore, medically hegemonic perspective of this type of programming, illuminating through content, textual, focus group, and survey analyses the abundance of medically hegemonic meanings in both the discursive and visual aspects of these texts as well as the negotiations of their target audience.

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