This book introduces the key topics, concepts, authors and debates from sociology and demonstrates their relevance to midwives. It introduces the reader to the classical theorists (Comte, Marx, Durkheim, Weber) and the more recent sociological perspectives (social constructionism) that shape contemporary sociology. These are presented in the context of their applicability to midwifery practice and in a simple manner which will allow midwives to apply theory to clinical practice. The scope of sociological study is extremely wide, ranging from the analysis of passing encounters between individuals, to the investigation of global social processes. In recent years, clinical disciplines, including medicine, nursing and midwifery, have all incorporated sociology into their undergraduate curricula. However, there remains considerable misunderstanding about the relevance and value of sociological analyses to clinical practice.As a sociologist working within the field of midwifery, the author wishes to dispel some of the mystery and misunderstandings that surround sociology by writing an accessible, comprehensive text, which introduces midwives to the relevance of sociology to their specific sphere of practice.
Chapter 1 - Introducing Sociology Chapter 2 - Cross-cultural Perspectives on the role of the Midwife Chapter 3 - The Social Organisation of Maternity Care Systems Chapter 4 - Social Inequalities and Health Chapter 5 - Motherhood and the Family Chapter 6 - The Maternal Body Chapter 7 - The Mass Media and Childbirth Chapter 8 - Sociological Research Methods Chapter 9 - Sociology: Future Challenges and the Midwifery Agenda Glossary