The Production of Unruly Bodies

Khiara M. Bridges

in Reproducing Race

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268944
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949447 | DOI:
The Production of Unruly Bodies

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This chapter explores the medical technology provided to indigent pregnant women within the Alpha Hospital. It characterizes the prenatal health care that poor, pregnant women receive and notes that it is delivered within an abundantly technological, biomedical paradigm of pregnancy. It argues that what Medicaid-insured, pregnant women's bodies receive is excessive in the sense that it goes beyond any necessary and appropriate medicalization, as well as that offered to privately insured women. It concludes that the result of this excessive medicalization is that poor women are produced as possessors of “unruly bodies”. It notes that the excesses of Medicaid's medicalization, which can be understood as a suspicion of poor women's bodies as especially “at risk”, provides an important basis for the argument that the “high risk” patients receiving prenatal care from the Alpha are thought to embody the image they have been given, and it coalesces them into an apprehensible population.

Keywords: medical technology; indigent pregnant women; Alpha Hospital; prenatal health care; Medicaid; at risk; high risk

Chapter.  10754 words. 

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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