Obstructed Labour analyzes how the movement to legalize midwifery in Ontario reproduced racial inequality by excluding from practice hundreds of professional midwives from the global south. Sheryl Nestel traces how racist exclusion operated to produce the Ontario midwifery movement and the bureaucratic structures that superceded it, as all-white spaces. Examining global macroprocesses of power, institutional forms of racist exclusion, and interpersonal expressions of racism, Nestel shows unequal relations between women to underlie the successful challenge to patriarchal medical authority mounted by provincial midwifery activists.Obstructed Labour offers a disturbing but fascinating counter-history of the re-emergence of midwifery, a feminist project that represented itself as fundamentally concerned with social equity. It also offers a timely illumination of the ways in which Canadian society squanders the much-needed expertise of internationally-educated professionals.
Sheryl Nestel teaches in the Sociology and Equity Studies Department of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.
Acknowledgments Acronyms Introduction: A New Profession to the White Population in Canada 1 Technologies of Exclusion 2 Midwifery in Ontario: A Counter-History 3 Midwifery Tourism 4 "Ambassadors of the Profession": The Construction of Respectable Midwifery 5 Narratives of Exclusion and Resistance of Women of Colour Conclusion: The Construction of Unequal Subjects Appendix A: Information letter for research participants Appendix B: Poster to solicit study participants Appendix C: Chronology of midwifery in Ontario Appendix D: Interview for immigrant midwives of colour Appendix E: Interview for white "non-elite" midwives Appendix F: Interview for white members of midwifery bodies Appendix G: Interview for women of colour who participated on midwifery bodies Notes References Index