The production of authoritative knowledge in American prenatal care

C. H. Browner, Nancy Press

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Using Jordan's concept of authoritative knowledge, this article describes some of the ways that the prenatal care practices of a group of U.S. women help to consolidate biomedical hegemony. We analyze the considerations that the women took into account when deciding whether or not to accept specific prenatal care recommendations as authoritative, focusing on when and how they used their own "embodied" knowledge and experience as a standard against which to assess the validity of clinical recommendations. The data provide insight into medicalization processes and the role patients themselves play in furthering biomedical hegemony,.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-156
Number of pages16
JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Authoritative knowledge
  • Medicalization
  • Prenatal care
  • Reproduction
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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