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Speaker Biography

Mandie Scammell

Mandie’s interest in the work midwives do in the socio/cultural performance of birth originated from both her medical anthropological background and her own embodied experience of becoming a mother. This interest culminated in a ethnographic M Res. project sponsored by the Anthropology Dept at the University of Durham which looked at the experience of childbirth, from the service user perspective, in the North East of England (Machin D & Scamell M 1997 Experience of labour: using ethnography to explore the irresistible nature of the bio-medical metaphor during labour. Midwifery 13 (2))

Since then she has become a practising midwife and following ten years of clinical practice, mainly in the community, team midwifery setting, Mandie embarked upon a PhD funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and sponsored by the Centre for Health Service Studies at the University of Kent.

Her PhD used an ethnographic discourse analysis approach to investigate how midwives make sense of risk through their every day talk and practice and how this process of meaning making impacts upon the way birth can be imagined and performed. (Scamell, M 2011 The swan effect… Sociology of Health and Illness on-line June 2011 ISSN 0141–9889)

She now works as a midwifery lecturer/ s risk management as it expressed through the operations of clinical governance. researcher at Kings College London and her current research interests are: midwifery discourse, risk and normality.

The RCM 2011 conference presentations come out of a new area of analysis from her PhD project which focuses upon the work midwives at the fringe


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