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The interactional organisation of sex assignment after childbirth

Lindström, Anna LU ; Näslund, Shirley LU and Rubertsson, Christine LU (2015) In Gender and Language 9(2). p.189-222
Abstract

That society divides its members into females and males is the point of departure for much research on gender and language and yet the situated accomplishment of the primordial sex categorisation of the newborn child has not attracted much scholarly attention. The present study fills this research gap by exploring the interactional organisation of sex assignment in a corpus of 67 video recordings of Swedish hospital births. We present quantitative and qualitative support for the idea that sex assignment is a prioritised activity during the first minutes after childbirth. Contrary to descriptions and assumptions in previous research, we find that sex assignment typically is sequentially accomplished in the social interaction between... (More)

That society divides its members into females and males is the point of departure for much research on gender and language and yet the situated accomplishment of the primordial sex categorisation of the newborn child has not attracted much scholarly attention. The present study fills this research gap by exploring the interactional organisation of sex assignment in a corpus of 67 video recordings of Swedish hospital births. We present quantitative and qualitative support for the idea that sex assignment is a prioritised activity during the first minutes after childbirth. Contrary to descriptions and assumptions in previous research, we find that sex assignment typically is sequentially accomplished in the social interaction between parents and medical staff. Our analysis reveals a normative preference that selects parents (rather than medical staff) as the ones who should discover and declare sex. We also provide tentative evidence that sex assignment may be a gendered practice that prioritises the father (rather than the mother) as the individual entitled to assign sex.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
keywords
Childbirth, Conversation analysis, Membership categorisation, Sex assignment
in
Gender and Language
volume
9
issue
2
pages
34 pages
publisher
Equinox Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:84938836844
ISSN
1747-6321
DOI
10.1558/genl.v9i2.17810
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
c8d46a71-0e7f-40b0-bfaf-41e495898dda
date added to LUP
2017-10-27 13:43:03
date last changed
2017-10-31 09:31:58
@article{c8d46a71-0e7f-40b0-bfaf-41e495898dda,
  abstract     = {<p>That society divides its members into females and males is the point of departure for much research on gender and language and yet the situated accomplishment of the primordial sex categorisation of the newborn child has not attracted much scholarly attention. The present study fills this research gap by exploring the interactional organisation of sex assignment in a corpus of 67 video recordings of Swedish hospital births. We present quantitative and qualitative support for the idea that sex assignment is a prioritised activity during the first minutes after childbirth. Contrary to descriptions and assumptions in previous research, we find that sex assignment typically is sequentially accomplished in the social interaction between parents and medical staff. Our analysis reveals a normative preference that selects parents (rather than medical staff) as the ones who should discover and declare sex. We also provide tentative evidence that sex assignment may be a gendered practice that prioritises the father (rather than the mother) as the individual entitled to assign sex.</p>},
  author       = {Lindström, Anna and Näslund, Shirley and Rubertsson, Christine},
  issn         = {1747-6321},
  keyword      = {Childbirth,Conversation analysis,Membership categorisation,Sex assignment},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {189--222},
  publisher    = {Equinox Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Gender and Language},
  title        = {The interactional organisation of sex assignment after childbirth},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/genl.v9i2.17810},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2015},
}