Finding a 'safe' place on the risk continuum: a case study of pregnancy and birthing in Lao PDR (Lao People's Democratic Republic)
Eckermann, Elizabeth 2006, Finding a 'safe' place on the risk continuum: a case study of pregnancy and birthing in Lao PDR (Lao People's Democratic Republic), Health sociology review, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 374-386.
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This paper addresses two questions. Firstly: are the risk regimes faced, and perceived, by pregnant women in rural Lao PDR substantially different from those experienced by pregnant women in western societies? Secondly, if the Lao experiences and perceptions are different, can improvements in maternal health in Lao PDR be achieved without Laotians inheriting the risk regimes of late modernity experienced by many women in western societies? Secondary analysis is undertaken of data collected in 2005 for the evaluation of a pilot maternity waiting home in Bolikhan, Lao PDR. The results suggest significantly different risk perceptions and experiences between Lao and western communities, based on contrasting views of embodiment, identity construction and cosmologies. In the Lao rural communities studied, there is little evidence yet of 'risk society' despite the introduction of western technologies and practices to improve maternal mortality and morbidity. It is argued
that 'risk society' can be avoided.
Field of Research
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
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