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About Natalie Jolly

I am a feminist sociologist interested in pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. My curiosity has led me to study birth in a variety of contexts, ranging from Amish homebirth to current birth practices at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. My courses consider how we learn to be a woman or a man in our society, and what that means for other aspects of our lives, such as our careers, our relationships, our sexuality, and our entertainment.

Current Research
In my research, I use birth as a point of entry into a discussion of women and gender in society and am interested to investigate how the birthing process can be read as a reflection of cultural patterns within social life. More specifically, I am concerned with the ways in which women birth, and want to figure out how women's birth experiences may be shaped by various social forces.

For many women, birth marks a transformative experience and is laden with great social significance. Looking into womens birth choices offer us unique insights into how womens relationships to their own bodies are mediated by various cultural pressures.

My research is interdisciplinary and draws strength from the variety of innovative work happening within the fields of Sociology, Feminist Theory, Nursing, Anthropology and Geography. Research that investigates childbirth not only makes an important contribution to the disciplines of Womens Studies, Sociology, Geography and Cultural Studies, it also critically engages popular trends in current birth practices and offers a much needed critique of the medicalized practices that are increasingly characterizing modern birth.


Present Assistant Professor, University of Washington Tacoma School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Curriculum Vitae

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2007 Ph.D, Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus ‐ Women's Studies and Rural Sociology
2001 M.A., California State University, Los Angeles ‐ Geography and Urban Analysis
1998 B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara ‐ Environmental Studies


Editorials (5)

Presentations (1)

Articles (13)

Book Chapters (5)

Book Reviews (1)