Health social movements and the hybridisation of ‘cause regimes’ : an ethnography of a British childbirth organisation

Roberts, Celia and Tyler, Imogen and Satchwell, Candice and Armstrong, Jo (2016) Health social movements and the hybridisation of ‘cause regimes’ : an ethnography of a British childbirth organisation. Social Movement Studies, 15 (4). pp. 417-430. ISSN 1474-2837

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This article reports on an ethnographic study of the UK’s largest health advocacy organisation dedicated to pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, the National Childbirth Trust or NCT. Working from interview data, textual materials and fieldnotes, we articulate three key phases in the NCT’s historically shifting relationships to feminism, medicine, the state and neoliberal capitalism. The concept of folded cause regimes is introduced as we examine how these phases represent the hybridisation of the organisation’s original cause. We argue that for the NCT the resulting multiplicity of cause regimes poses significant challenges, but also future opportunities. The apparent contradictions between cause regimes offer important insights into contemporary debates in the sociology of health and illness and raises critical questions about the hybrid state of health advocacy today. Focussing on cause allows for a deeper understanding of the intense pressures of diversification, marketisation and the professionalisation of dissent faced by third-sector organisations under current social and economic conditions.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Social Movement Studies
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Social Movement Studies on 11/03/2016, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? national childbirth trusthealth social movementscause regimeschildbirthfeminismthird-sectorneoliberalismcultural studiessociology and political science ??
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Deposited On:
21 Oct 2015 04:57
Last Modified:
02 Feb 2024 00:31