Obstetric violence : Epistemological issues and controversies

Organizers: Clémence Schantz (EHESS) et Virginie Rozée (INED)

International conference organized by the French Institute for Demographic Studies (Ined), with the Gender Institute support

Friday, December 6th


This international seminar aims to analyse the obstetric biomedical violence carried on women reproductive body, and to think about the epistemological issues and controversies it raises. Issues will focus on the structural and symbolic dimension of this violence and the way in which its analysis makes it possible to rethink gender. As for controversies, the reasons of this violence and the solutions considered will be questioned. Biomedicalization of the reproductive body will thus be approached through the prism of the tension that can exist between a possible emancipation and the risk of sliding towards an essentialist representation of the women’s bodies. This seminar will provide empirical data and analysis on a subject that is widely publicized and yet little considered in social sciences. We also want to question the term itself of obstetric violence. We hope that this seminar will motivate further research on the subject, fed by gender studies on biomedicalization and violence. Finally, this seminar will be an opportunity to exchange and think on this topic together with researchers, health professionals and users.