About this site

Welcome to my site. My friends and I created this to share some of my work and - more importantly - to invite an exchange of ideas.

I've been a sociologist for a long time. and ventured into a number of different fields over the years: birth and midwifery (which I still think of as my home base); the new genetics and reproductive technologies; medical sociology; bioethics; issues in disability; adoption; race; and now food studies too. Some of you might know my work in one of these areas, others in a different area. What would be really interesting would be to have people talk, with each other and with me, across areas. I've tried, with some success over the years, to talk to midwives about genetics; to encourage people who do new reproductive technologies to think about home birth; to have bioethicists pay more attention to what medical sociology can offer; to get people in Food Studies thinking where midwifery issues overlap with their concerns. These are invariably the most fun and stimulating conversations I've ever been a part of. Connecting people, connecting ideas, weaving the webs that pull us together - nothing could make me happier. So this site, a gift from my friends, is my place to do this kind of weaving.

We've grouped my work by area - but please, if you're here because you have gotten anything useful out of my work in one area, do poke around for a minute in another. Bring your insights and wisdom and experience to a new place, a new issue. Let's see what we can weave together.

- Barbara Katz Rothman

Midwifery, Nutrition, and Public Health

I've been teaching in Maternal and Child Health, under the discipline of Public Health for a while now, and continually bothered by the direction much of public health has taken.  It seems to me much of the field is about public education on matters of health and medicine, and an enormous push to get more people to more medical services more regularly.  That's not what I thought public health was supposed to be about.  When Ruth Deery and Lorna Davies sent me their volume on nutrition in pregnancy and childbirth and asked me to do a foreword, it gave me a moment of clarity on how we ought to be doing public health and how clinicians ought to be doing public education.  And it reminded me how much I love midwifery.

Read my foreword to Ruth Deery and Lorna Davies, editors, Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childbirth, Taylor and Francis, forthcoming, here.