Institutional Scholarship

Giving Birth to Misconceptions: Portrayal of Childbirth in Popular Visual Media

TriCollege Digital Repository

Title: Giving Birth to Misconceptions: Portrayal of Childbirth in Popular Visual Media
Author: Walker, Coral A.
Advisor: Uygun, Banu Nilgun
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Anthropology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Giving Birth to Misconceptions is the study of how childbirth in popular media for the sake of entertainment and dramatic effect can influence how the audience understands childbirth. I take a closer look at how reality television shows like 16 & Pregnant, and fictional films and television shows, like Knocked Up, Up All Night, Juno, and Baby Mama, depict the childbirth process and how these are understood and internalized by some viewers. Through the use of a critical lens I analyze the previously mentioned forms of visual media using the theoretical lens of authoritative knowledge, the birthing body as a machine of production, childbirth as pathological, the media effects of editing techniques in different genres, and artifice of visual media productions. I then expand my research with the help of a focus-group to understand how these forms of visual media influence the audiences’ understanding of childbirth through editing techniques and creation of expectations. These analyses provide a closer understanding of how despite the participants' awareness of editing techniques and plotline fabrications, are still influenced to understand childbirth as it is depicted in fictional films and television shows.
Subject: Childbirth -- In mass media
Subject: Childbirth -- Public opinion
Access Restrictions: Open Access
Terms of Use:
Permanent URL:

Files in this item

Files Description Size Format
2012WalkerC_thesis.pdf Thesis 680.4Kb PDF
2012WalkerC_release.pdf **Archive Staff Only** 27.29Kb PDF


Walker, Coral A.. "Giving Birth to Misconceptions: Portrayal of Childbirth in Popular Visual Media". 2012. Available electronically from

This item appears in the following Collection(s) Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as


Advanced Search


My Account