Latinx Women and Labor in the Digital Age Exploring Childbirth and Medical Authority Through the Use of YouTube Open Access

Keathley, Nora (Summer 2020)

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This thesis examines how self-identified Latinx women navigate the institution of medical authority and birth medicalization as it pertains to reproductive care, specifically childbirth, and how they tell stories and share information about their experiences via YouTube. To do this, I consider the group of YouTubers, identified as “mom bloggers,” who create and share both vlog-style and testimonial-style videos recounting their experiences in the delivery room. I examine the narratives of these women, and how they navigate authority and medicalization, through the lens of a history of colonization, a force that has widely shaped the medicalization of childbirth in the Western Hemisphere. I argue that, through their considerable command of narrative creation in the medium of YouTube, the women considered here not only create important representations for the greater Latinx community in a sphere dominated by the voices of upper-middle class white men and women, but also share valuable didactic information that has the potential to shape the way in which the people who watch their videos give birth. 

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction __________________________________page 7

Chapter Two: Literature Review _____________________________page 14

Chapter Three: Methodology and Data Collection _____________page 42

Chapter Four: Structuring Narratives of Motherhood __________page 47

Chapter Five: Medicalization, Authority, and the Mother _____page 62

Chapter Six: Final Thoughts _________________________________page 80

Bibliography _____________________________________________page 81

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