[Home Childbirth in Russian Noble Families (Late 19th – Early 20th Centuries)]
Type of publication: Research Article
women’s history, maternity, childbirth, gender, egodocuments, women’s autobiographies
The article is an attempt to make a contribution to the growing international scholarship in women’s history and anthropology of birth. The anthropology of birth in Russian noble families in the late 19th – early 20th centuries is examined here within an interdisciplinary framework incorporating a range of fields – ethnology, psychohistory, gender studies, history of family and female body. The authors draw on their own research work with women’s (as well as some men’s) diaries and other ego-documents at Russian archives, which provided unique information about the intimate female experiences connected with their fertility and rationalization of female reproductive ability. The authors argue that there was a specific subculture of birth in the noble social milieu, which incorporated both traditional practices of childbirth and modern medical trends in the obstetric aid. The article shows how childbirth in Russia turned from a spontaneous biological process into the act controlled by professionals (doctors, obstetricians).
This research was supported by the following institutions and grants:
Russian Foundation for Humanities, grant no 14-31-01217
Mitsyuk, N.A., Pushkareva, N.L. 2015. Domashnie rody v rossiiskikh dvorianskikh sem’iakh (konets XIX – nachalo XX v.) [Home Childbirth in Russian Noble Families (Late 19th – Early 20th Centuries)]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 5: 167-183
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