Sunday, 28 January 2018
Thuy Linh Nguyen, Childbirth, Maternity and Medical Pluralism in French Colonial Vietnam, 1880–1945
Issue Cover Volume 31 Issue 1 February 2018 Thuy Linh Nguyen , Childbirth, Maternity and Medical Pluralism in French Colonial Vietnam, 1880–1945 , Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2016. Pp. 254. £80. ISBN 978 1 5804 6568 7. Claire Edington Social History of Medicine, Volume 31, Issue 1, 1 February 2018, Pages 191–192, https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkx084 Published: 21 November 2017 The history of childbirth provides unique insights into the interaction between medical practices, cultural meanings and religious beliefs. It brings both state and non-state actors into the intimate space of the family home. It also addresses a domain of knowledge traditionally controlled by women. In Childbirth, Maternity and Medical Pluralism in French Colonial Vietnam, 1880–1945, Thuy Linh Nguyen brings together these different strands to examine the transformation of birthing and childcare practices in French colonial Vietnam and the pluralist system that emerged at the intersection of French and Vietnamese medical traditions. Building on the insights of Nancy Rose Hunt in her pioneering work on the Belgian Congo, Nguyen understands the gradual medicalisation of childbirth in Vietnam not through the prism of Western priorities and policy.