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VII. Phases of Labor

Kathryn Allen Rabuzzi Indiana University Press ePub

Regardless what model a woman and her mate choose, actual childbearing may challenge their expectations. With onset of labor comes the beginning of the final and most difficult stage of the transformation begun approximately nine months earlier. At this time, the learning and changes brought about by and during pregnancy are fully tested.

Childbirth is usually divided into three phases: labor, delivery, and delivery of the placenta. Labor is further divided into the early, late, and transition stages, although as sociologist Barbara Roth Katzman points out, these stages are a misleading representation of reality, in the way that norms based on statistical averages always are. By analogy with height, Katzman writes, “A woman of over six feet is a statistical abnormality.” Similarly, what is statistically normal in labor is not necessarily normal for every woman. The discrepancy between the two kinds of norm—the individual woman’s and the statistical average—would not matter except that, as Rothman says, “statistically abnormal labors are medically treated.” That means that a woman whose labor goes on “too long” will be “treated”: “Doing something is the cornerstone of medical management,” Rothman adds. “Every labor that takes ‘too long’ and cannot be stimulated by hormones or by breaking the membranes will go on to the next level of medical intervention, cesarean section.”1 Thus, even terminology seemingly as innocuous as “stages or phases of labor” needs reframing if women are truly to recreate childbearing.

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2 Palimpsests of ’68: Theorizing Labor after Adorno

Daniel J Sherman Indiana University Press ePub


There was never enough time for ’68 to happen. Before the ideas underlying the myriad events now associated with the single explosive year 1968 could ever unfurl entirely, its actors and the greater cultural contexts in which they found themselves had already moved forward in time. The year 1968 was already over before the conceptual work ’68 set out to do ever came to fruition. Further complicating matters, especially in spite of today’s self-congratulatory anniversaries celebrating the fruits of ’68, a thoroughgoing critical understanding of the events, people, and ideas conveniently filed under the heading “1968” requires us to question the structural straitjacket that the date implies. Both the causal historicism typical of diachronicity and the simultaneity of synchronicity overlook how ’68 was both a critical engagement with anachronicity and an opening into proleptic time. Neither traumatic nor systemic, ’68 looked backward in time in an effort to differentiate its own present historically and, precisely because of the lack of time required to perform this complicated work, never came to a close in its own moment. To argue that ’68, the unfulfilled revolutionary spirit of the year 1968, is still with us today is thus only valid if and when we acknowledge that ’68 never resided wholly in its own time and that this uncompleted past has also never been entirely fulfilled in our own. Herein resides the utopian conundrum of ’68, a conundrum—as will be shown in the course of this chapter—that the often overlooked German thinkers Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge ensconced as the motor of their political philosophy after 1968.

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VI. Models of Labor and Delivery

Kathryn Allen Rabuzzi Indiana University Press ePub

Once a woman becomes pregnant, she typically begins thinking about how she wants her childbirthing to take place. Most women find that just researching and preparing for labor and delivery require much work. This is particularly so in contemporary Western cultures that offer an enormous array of choices. Should you have your baby in a hospital? a birthing center? at home? Do you want anesthesia or “natural” childbirth? Will your mate be present? your other children? your friends? While such abundant choices represent an enormous gain in women’s attempts to reframe childbirth, the often ambiguous nature of these choices makes further reconstruction necessary.

Modern medical techniques create one of the most ambivalent models of childbearing. Yet, despite many negative effects of medicalized childbearing, women who exercise their own judgments often find it possible to resacralize childbearing in meaningful ways.

But some women strongly oppose a medical model, seeing in it the worst excesses of patriarchal and technological domination. For them, important alternatives emerge when they embrace consumerism. A consumerist approach to labor and delivery permits a woman to take direct action in changing current practices. But sometimes a power struggle erupts, and desacralization of childbirth results. Reframing childbearing as a consumer event is fraught with potential dangers.

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Appendix: Demographic and Labor Tables, Profile of Interviewees

Faranak Miraftab Indiana University Press ePub

Demographic and Labor Tables,
Profile of Interviewees

Table A1. Summary of population census data for Beardstown and Rushville, Illinois, 1890–2010

Sources: All the population and race data reported here are obtained from the decennial census reports of U.S. Census Bureau (available at: http://www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html). The following tables for different time periods were used to obtain these values: Year 1890: Table 19: Population by sex, general nativity, and color, of places having 2,500 inhabitants or more, 1890, Table 22: Native and foreign-born and white and colored population, classified by sex and by counties, 1890. Year 1900: Table 22: Native and foreign-born and white and colored population, classified by sex and by counties, 1900, Table 23: Population by Sex, General Nativity, and Color, for places having 2,500 inhabitants or more, 1900. Year 1920: Table 9: Composition and characteristics of the population for counties, 1920, Table 11: Composition and characteristics of the population, for places of 2,500 to 10,000, 1920. Year 1930: Table 13: Composition of the population, by counties, 1930, Table 16: Composition of the population, for incorporated places of 2,500 to 10,000, 1930. Year 1940: Table 29: Race and age, by sex, with rural-farm population, for incorporated places of 1,000 to 2,500, 1940, Table 30: Composition of population for incorporated places of 2,500 to 10,000, 1940. Year 1950: Table 38: General characteristics of the population, for urban places of 2,500 to 10,000, 1950. Year 1960: Table 22: Characteristics of the population, for urban places of 2,500 to 10,000, 1960. Year 1970: Table 31: General Characteristics of places of 2,500 to 10,000, 1970. Year 1980: Table 16: Total persons and Spanish-origin persons by type of Spanish origin and race, 1980. Year 1990: Table 6: Race and Hispanic origin, 1990. Year 2000: Table 3. Race and Hispanic or Latino, 2000. Year 2010: Table 3: Race and Hispanic or Latino origin, 2010.

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1 The Division of Labor: The Factory

Martin H. Krieger Indiana University Press ePub

Nature as a Factory; Handles and Stories. What Everyday Walls Must Do; Walls for a Factory; Walls as Providential. Particles, Objects, and Workers; What Particles Must Be Like; Intuitions of Walls and Particles. What Fields Must Be Like.

THE ARGUMENT IS: THE WORKINGS OF NATURE ARE ANALOGIZED to a factory with its division of labor. But here the laborers are of three sorts: walls, particles, and fields. Walls are in effect the possibility of shielding and separation; particles are the possibility of sources and localization; and fields allow for conservation laws and path dependence. Different kinds of degrees of freedom are associated with each type of laborer, and the laborers naturally restrict each other’s degrees of freedom – if the Factory of Nature is to be as productive as it is. Corresponding to the efficiency of the division of labor in a factory or an economy is the comparative richness, elegance, economy, and wide applicability of a physical mechanism or theory or model. Technically, Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism are one realization of this political economy of a transcendental aesthetic, to honor both Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant in one phrase.1 (We discuss other mechanisms of production in subsequent chapters, for example ones in which exchange and the extent of the market are crucial features.) My claim is that physicists take Nature in this sense of manufacture; of course that sense being interpreted in terms of empirical “peculiarities,” as Smith employs the term.

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