The Technocratic Model

Robbi E. Davis-Floyd

in Birth as an American Rite of Passage

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520229327
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927216 | DOI:
The Technocratic Model

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This chapter focuses on the so-called technocratic model of birth, a paradigm that provides the rationale for the medical conduct of the rite of passage for the mother. It suggests that this model, with its blanket categorization of the female body as an inherently defective machine, reflects on and perpetuates the profound cultural belief in the innate inferiority of women to the men. It also contends that rituals of the initiatory rites of passage convey symbolic messages that speak of a culture's most deeply held values and beliefs and considers medicine as a microcosm of American society.

Keywords: technocratic model; birth; rite of passage; female body; defective machine; symbolic messages; American society

Chapter.  11454 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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