Quantitative insights into televised birth: a content analysis of One Born Every Minute

De Benedictis, Sara and Johnson, Catherine and Roberts, Julie and Spiby, Helen (2018) Quantitative insights into televised birth: a content analysis of One Born Every Minute. Critical Studies in Media Communication . ISSN 1479-5809 (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper explores birth representations through a content analysis of two seasons of the UK program, One Born Every Minute (Channel 4, 2010- ) (OBEM). Reality television (RTV) has been a fertile ground for the mediation of birth but has also stoked controversy among feminist critics and the birth community about how birth is represented and the impacts this might have for women and society. International research has explored problematic overrepresentation of white, heterosexual couples, as well as noting a predominance of medicalized birth experiences. However, this research is formed largely of qualitative studies that are necessarily based on small samples of episodes. To contribute to this literature, we apply a quantitative and interdisciplinary lens through a content analysis of two seasons of the UK version of OBEM. Paying attention to the geographical and temporal context of OBEM, this paper confirms overrepresentation of white, heterosexual couples and medicalized birth on RTV birth shows while also providing novel insights into the ambiguous representation of birthplace and lead caregivers, the medicalization of birth through the routinization of supposedly minor birth interventions, and the absence of the representation of women’s choice over such interventions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: birth, midwifery, content analysis, One Born Every Minute, reality television, medicalization
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies > Department of Culture, Film and Media
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2018 13:55
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2020 04:30
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/54980

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