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ERIC Number: EJ843707
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0741-0883
Confronting Rhetorical Disability: A Critical Analysis of Women's Birth Plans
Owens, Kim Hensley
Written Communication, v26 n3 p247-272 2009
Through its analysis of birth plans, documents some women create to guide their birth attendants' actions during hospital births, this article reveals the rhetorical complexity of childbirth and analyzes women's attempts to harness birth plans as tools of resistance and self-education. Asserting that technologies can both silence and give voice, the article examines women's use of technologies of writing to confront technologies of birth. The article draws on data from online childbirth narratives, a childbirth writing survey, and five women's birth plans to argue that women's silencing, or rhetorical disability, during childbirth both prompts and limits the birth plan as an effective communicative tool. The data suggest that the birth plan is not consistently effective in the ways its authors intend. Nonetheless, this analysis also demonstrates that the rhetorical failure of the birth plan can be read as, and thereby transformed into, rhetorical possibility. (Contains 1 table and 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A