104. You’re Doing It Wrong with Bethany Johnson and Margaret Quinlan

Join us for a journey through the fascinating history of motherhood, media, and medical expertise! Yael interviews professors Bethany Johnson and Margaret Quinlan about the causes and consequences of medicalizing pregnancy and childbirth, and how technology and culture have long created a message that mothers are doing it all wrong. Learn why we need to change that message, and how we can.

In this episode, we explore the following questions:

  • How have different forms of mothering expertise grown over history, and how has that development impacted women’s experience in mothering?
  • What are some of the ways that social media proliferates expertise? How does the message of “you’re doing it wrong” impact our experience?
  • What is the difference between lay and technical expertise and why does it matter for our mothering experience
  • How has postpartum care evolved over time and what does that mean for the modern mothering experience?
  • What strategies can we employ to combat the messages of “you’re doing it wrong”?

About Bethany Johnson and Margaret Quinlan

Bethany L. Johnson (MPhil, M.A.) is an instructor in history and an associate member to the graduate faculty and research affiliate faculty in the department of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She studies how science, medicine, and health discourses are framed and reproduced by institutions and individuals from the 19th century to the present. She has published in interdisciplinary journals such as Health Communication, Women & Language, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research and Women’s Reproductive Health. 

Bethany and Margaret from You're Doing It Wrong

Margaret M. Quinlan is an associate professor in the department of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She explores how communication creates, resists and transforms knowledge about bodies. She critiques power structures in order to empower individuals who are marginalized inside and outside of healthcare systems. She authored approximately 40 journal articles, 17 book chapters and co-produced documentaries in a regional Emmy award-winning series.



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1 comment
  • Professors Johnson and Quinlan provide insight on motherhood in a way that is approachable and digestable. I enjoyed hearing them place emphasis on the choices that mothers have in deciding what is best for them and their child(ren). There has been a lot of information dictating the rights and wrongs of mothering, it is good to hear that there is no singular "right way".

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Episode 104