Usually conceived in opposition to each other – birth as a hopeful beginning, death as an ending – this book brings them into dialogue with each other to argue that both are central to our experiences of being in the world and part of living.
Written by two authors, this book takes an intergenerational approach to highlight the connections and disconnections between birth and death; adopting a relational approach allows the book to explore birth and death through the key relationships that constitute them: personal and social, private and public, the affective and social norms, the actual and the virtual and the ordinary and profound.
Of interest to academics and students in the fields of feminism, phenomenology and the life course, the book will also be of relevance to policy makers in the areas of birth activism and end of life care. Drawing from personal stories, everyday life and publicly contested examples, the book will also be of interest to a more general readership as it engages with questions we all at some point will grapple with.
Table of Contents
1. Birth and Death; 2. Sheila Kitzinger: A Life in Birth and a Good Death; 3. Personal and Social; 4. Visibility and Visualisation; 5. Public and Private: Rituals and Routines; 6. The Medical and the Natural: Embodied Selves; 7. Crossing Boundaries: Ethics and Experience; 8. Conclusion: Giving Birth, Dying and Mostly, Living.
Kath Woodward is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Open University. She researches gendered embodiment and feminist theories and psychosocial approaches, for example, to being in the zone. She has published extensively on the sexual politics of sport, social divisions and transforming identities.
Sophie Woodward is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester. She carries out research into material culture, materiality and everyday lives, and has a particular interest in creative methods. She has a parallel interest in feminist theories and feminist movements; she is the author of several books in the areas of everyday consumption, material culture and feminism.