BS in Anthropology and Geography
Social Sciences Department
Over the past 200 years a dramatic shift in the method of birth has occurred in the world and especially in the United States. Birth has been transformed from a common event overseen by a local midwife, a process that was common and largely mysterious as it lacked any scientific understanding, to an infrequent event overwhelmingly overseen by obstetricians and scientifically dissected in attempts to maximize health outcomes. Although many countries have gone through a transition similar to this, this specific transition is unique to the culture of the United States. With the impact that US Western culture is having on so many aspects of life in foreign lands, it seems prudent to look at how Western culture has influenced methods of birth in other cultures. More specifically, this paper examines which aspects of the Western or US birth model have been adopted in Fiji, a country that has a strong cultural identity but one that has also had great exposure to the West, and explores the reasons why those aspects have been adopted.