Is childbirth purely physiological, or does our society shape women’s experiences of pregnancy, labor, and delivery?
To consider the different ways birth is shaped by society, sociologist Natalie Jolly spent two years as a midwife among Pennsylvania’s Amish communities. In this revealing talk, she compares how Amish homebirth differs from contemporary American birth practices, and in the process reveals how our culture shapes both our mind and body. Using childbirth as a starting point, she explores how society both produces and constrains the seemingly personal choices that we make, and how it shapes even the very physical experiences that we have. The talk also touches on themes of gender norms and social change.
Natalie Jolly is a feminist sociologist interested in pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. Her curiosity has led her to study birth in a variety of contexts, ranging from Amish homebirth in Pennsylvania to the current birth practices for soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Her research aligns with other scholars interested in using sociology of reproduction to consider how social norms shape women’s individual experience of childbirth. As part of advancing this ongoing conversation, she has published several research articles and has delivered presentations to audiences ranging from high school girls to retired women. Jolly is the mother of four, and is an assistant professor at the University of Washington Tacoma, where she serves as the Gender & Sexuality Studies Minor coordinator and where she teaches courses on gender, sociology, and popular culture.
Jolly lives in Tacoma.
For more information on how to book a speaker, please contact Zaki Hamid at (206) 682-1770 x102 or by email.