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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Health risk is increasingly calculable, often with new ways to surveil the body, in hopes of enacting change that might treat, manage, or lower that identifiable risk. Nowhere is this more evident than in pregnancy management and childhood vaccination. This chapter examines how women encounter discourses of risk during pregnancy as well as when they consider childhood vaccination and make decisions for themselves and their children. Using two case examples from a larger qualitative study of perceptions of risk and vaccine refusal, this chapter shows how women’s decisions reflect the ways their pregnancy and parenting decisions are driven by perceptions of risk that are embodied, subjective, and contextual, and that reflect different social locations and processes of management.

Keywords: risk, pregnancy, birth, vaccine, medical expertise, expert knowledge, disease, health care, body, embodiment

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