U of A graduate thesis critically exploring how Aboriginal women are portrayed in health information is available on-line

Chantal Ritcey successfully completed her Master of Library and Information Studies this fall. Her thesis is called “Representations of Aboriginal women in pregnancy information sources: a critical discourse analysis” and is available on-line through the University of Alberta library.

The purpose of this study was to: (1) examine the literature pertaining to information-seeking behaviours during pregnancy and to Indigenous Knowledge and (2) examine whether women from Aboriginal cultures are represented in health-related information pertaining to pregnancy and new motherhood, and if so, how they are being depicted.

Ritcey’s thesis includes an overview of the research on the medicalization of childbirth, Indigenous Knowledge, information seeking behaviours, and the information needs of pregnant women. She uses a critical discourse analysis framework and draws extensively on postcolonial theory. She includes publications on smoking cessation during pregnancy and FASD in her analysis.

Overall, Ritcey concludes that information on pregnancy is constructed in a manner that supports neocolonial practices and may reinforce negative stereotypes of Aboriginal women.

Reference:

Ritcey, Chantal. (2010). Representations of Aboriginal women in pregnancy information sources: a critical discourse analysis. Master’s thesis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.