First Advisor

Maura Kelly

Term of Graduation

Spring 2019

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sociology






Doulas -- Attitudes, Reproductive rights



Physical Description

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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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Sociology Commons