From Cyberspace to the Home-Place: Interpreting Online Communication of Homebirth in Canada
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This thesis investigated online communication of women utilizing a homebirth forum in order to understand why Canadian women are choosing homebirth methods instead of the mainstream dominant trend of hospital births, and how a sense of community is created through an online forum. For this research fifty posts were selected from fifteen different threads within the homebirth forum group on BabyCenter. The homebirth forum group was followed for approximately one month, and a total of thirty-four women are represented in the posting sample analyzed. Using content analysis techniques, four recurring themes were extracted – Control, Home, Hospitals, and Community – with at least four sub-themes for each identified. It was found that women choose homebirth for a myriad of factors but predominantly because homebirth allows for the ability to have a better sense of control, choice, and comfort over their birthing desires. As well, a sense of community is created in an online capacity because of the commonality of interests between the forum users. The solidarity of the homebirth community is built upon advice, empathy and situational understanding.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
DepartmentArchaeology and Anthropology
Copyright DateMarch 2014