Portland State University. Department of Sociology
Term of Graduation
Date of Publication
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sociology
Doulas -- Attitudes, Reproductive rights
1 online resource (vii, 90 pages)
This study, based on in-depth interviews with 30 self-identified radical doulas working in the US, describes the radical practices, positionality, and orientation towards reproductive justice that distinguish these care workers from mainstream doulas. Radical doulas provide nonjudgmental support in a full-spectrum of reproductive experiences from menarche to menopause according to the needs of their clients. As non-medically trained care workers, they provide informational, emotional, and physical support during abortion, birth and postpartum, fetal loss, adoption, or surrogacy, enacting individualized skill sets across settings from homes to hospitals and clinics. Radical doulas are paid professionals, but often offer a sliding-scale for fees, or volunteer their services in specific instances, like abortion or loss. Their willingness to serve pregnant people regardless of the outcome (i.e. abortion, birth, loss), or the context (i.e. medicated or non-medicated, in a hospital, or at home), and with attention to the mechanisms of social oppression and marginalization, make radical doulas unique care workers who defy the institutional logics of medicalized reproductive healthcare.
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Carathers, JaDee Yvonne, "Radical Doulas Make "Caring a Political Act": Full-spectrum Birthwork as Reproductive Justice Activism" (2019). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5496.