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Performing Pregnancy:An Ethnography of American and Finnish Pregnant Women on Social Media


Performing Pregnancy:An Ethnography of American and Finnish Pregnant Women on Social Media

Jeskanen, Carrie (2014) Performing Pregnancy:An Ethnography of American and Finnish Pregnant Women on Social Media. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Performing Pregnancy: An Ethnography of American and Finnish Pregnant Women on Social Media

Carrie Jeskanen

For too long, the voices of pregnant women have been neglected by anthropologists and other scholars. Academic research has focused instead on the relatively brief moment of childbirth rather than the preceding nine months of gestation or pregnancy. This largely unexplored area of women's lived experience is examined in this thesis. From June 2014 to the end of October 2014, I conducted online participant observation fieldwork following Twitter, YouTube, blogs, Instagram and Pinterest, to study the uses of social media by women in the United States and Finland during their pregnancies. Specifically, I compare women's experiences of pregnancy in the United States and Finland through an ethnographic analysis of their pregnancy vlogs and blogs. These are spaces where women can make visible the work of pregnancy. Furthermore, they provide valuable ethnographic data on how women use these forums as places to share common experiences and build a sense of community. In this thesis, I contradict much of the academic literature that focuses on how women are controlled during pregnancy and childbirth. Instead, I argue that vlogs and blogs can be seen as spaces where women assert agency and seek to develop a sense of control over their pregnancies.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Jeskanen, Carrie
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Social and Cultural Anthropology
Date:June 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Cole, Sally
ID Code:978722
Deposited On:07 Nov 2014 16:55
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47


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