From social movement to professional midwifery project : are we throwing the baby out with the bathwater?


Daviss, Betty-Anne.




The social movement(s) with which the midwives and their clients in Ontario have been connected since the late 1970's has tended to take an increasingly subordinate focus to that of licensing of midwifery as a profession. This thesis defines and characterizes both social movements and professions and draws a comparison of the two to reveal large differences in their goals, strategies, ethics, and participants. Using this comparison as a framework for discussion, it argues the midwives most eligible for integration into the health care system at time of legislation of the profession in Ontario were rooted in a sense of family and social movement ethics. The legislation project has created internal conflict and a growing need to distinguish between the Movement and the Professionalization/Legislation Project. The analysis is based on the popular and professional newsletters of the midwives, their clients, and the government legislation programs, video clips of workshops and news reports, and answers to a 35-page questionnaire sent to the midwives who had practised just before or just after the 1993 Bill to enact the midwifery legislation. Interviews or answers to the questionnaire were obtained from 41 of 89 midwives approached. A case is made for maintaining both the Movement and the Professionalization/Legislation Project. This would allow midwives to mainstream their services while remaining disengaged from the illusory elitism of professions, an elitism the midwives' and clients' Movement originally sought to avoid.


Midwifery -- Ontario -- History
Midwives -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Ontario
Midwifery -- Social aspects -- Ontario




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Canadian Studies

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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