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Men and antenatal pedagogy: discourse, subject positions and affect

Leverett, Stephen 2013. Men and antenatal pedagogy: discourse, subject positions and affect. EdD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Antenatal education classes are a popular source of learning and support related to labour, birth and early parenthood for pregnant women and their partners. Although in the UK National Health Service (NHS) classes are the most frequently attended, the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), a registered charity involved in political lobbying, teaching and support related to maternity issues, offers a widely available alternative. The involvement of male partners within NCT antenatal education has raised questions, addressed in this study, as to how the male pedagogic subject is produced, recognised and realised within the instructional practice of NCT teachers, and the purpose it serves. Concepts drawn from Basil Bernstein’s theory of the pedagogic device influenced an empirical investigation that involved observing participants at an NCT antenatal course, combined with interviewing three antenatal teachers and analysis of official texts. The analysis helped identify the distinctive voice of the NCT, which sits in opposition to the prevailing medical and technical childbirth discourse. Analysis of the interview and observation data revealed how teachers recontextualised this discourse, in line with their own views and affective influences, to produce individually unique pedagogies, which in turn were found to produce and regulate specific subject positions for men during childbirth and the early days of fatherhood. The men’s recognition and realisation of subject positions was found to relate to the relationships and contexts produced by the pedagogy and their own affective coping strategies. The study adds to existing understandings of the transition to fatherhood and the relationship between discourse, pedagogy and subjectivities, and it proposes emergent theory about potential affective influences during the recontextualisation of pedagogic discourse. The findings also contribute to the development and practice of antenatal education for men.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2019 12:53

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