Maternity rolls/roles : an autoethnography on an embodied experience of pregnancy, childbirth, and disability
Kuttai, Heather Roberta
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As a woman with a spinal cord injury who uses a wheelchair, my thesis is an autoethnography that is based largely on the journals I have written in over the last twenty years, and in particular the journals I kept while I was pregnant and giving birth to my two children. Disability is a pervasive ideology that informs many of our cultural ideas of self and other, what constitutes acceptable and celebratory bodies, political stances, public policy, and language. Much of the literature that examines the female bodily experience excludes the stories and experiences of women with disabilities. Because the body with disabilities is often seen for what it can not do, taking on the role of mother can give the body a different value, status, and worth. I feel that my experiences as a woman with a disability experiencing pregnancy and childbirth offers insights and understanding into what it is already known about women’s bodies. I display multiple levels of personal and cultural consciousness while connecting to the larger understandings of the culture of pregnancy, childbirth, and disability
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentCollege of Kinesiology
ProgramCollege of Kinesiology
CommitteeTeucher, Ulrich; Kowalski, Kent; Humbert, Louise M.