Claudia MalacridaSociology has permitted me to investigate questions of power, gender, medicalization, and knowledge production. It has also enabled me to speak with a broad range of social actors, from survivors of the Michener Centre to disabled mothers in the community who encounter attitudes, policies and practices that are not always helpful, to doctors, midwives, doulas, educators and mothers whose perspectives on choice and childbirth make for interesting comparisons.

I am currently involved in three major research projects:

Eugenics to Newgenics
This projects makes connections between my historical work on Michener Centre and the Eugenics Board and my research with mothers with disabilities. I seek to examine the continuities and discontinuities between traditional eugenic practices and current practices regarding sexual education, access to sexual experiences, and reproductive control for men and women with disabilities.

Childbirth & Choice
This study begins with current debates between medical practitioners, natural birth advocates, and feminist theorists concerning the medicalization of childbirth; each of these groups have argued that mothers, doctors, or medical systems are responsible for growing rates of c-sections and other forms of birth intervention. The project involves interviews with mothers, birth educators, health professionals and an examination of policy and educational materials relating to birth to understand how women choose a given type of birth, how their choices play out in practice, and what the various stakeholders have to say about optimal birthing practices. The research is ongoing.

Dis/Enabling Motherhood: Embodied and Social Aspects of Disabled Women’s Experiences in Comparative Contexts (Canada and the UK)
This study examines the experiences of a wide range of disabled mothers from across Alberta and the United Kingdom about their experiences of ‘doing motherhood’. The focus is on the day-to-day, lived experiences of dealing with motherhood and disability, but it is also about the social aspects of disability, which include attitudes, behaviours, funding, policies and program delivery relating to families and disability. The research is ongoing. Profile

Selected Publications

Refereed Publications – Books

Malacrida, Claudia (Forthcoming). A Special Hell: Institutional Life in Alberta’s Eugenic Years. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Malacrida, Claudia and Jacqueline Low (2008). Sociology of the Body: A Reader. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Malacrida, Claudia (1998 [2007]). Mourning the Dreams: How Parents Create Meaning from Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Early Infant Death. (1998) Edmonton: Qual Institute Press, University of Alberta; (2007) Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press.

Malacrida, Claudia (2003). Cold Comfort: Mothers, Professionals, and Attention Deficit Disorder. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Refereed Publications – Research Articles

Malacrida, Claudia (2012). “Bodily Practices as Vehicles for Dehumanization in an Institution for ‘Mental Defectives'”. Embodied Action, Embodied Theory, Understanding the Body in Society: Special Issue. Societies 4(2). 286-301.

Malacrida, Claudia and Tiffany Boulton (2012). “Women’s perceptions of childbirth ‘choices’: Competing discourses of motherhood, sexuality, and selflessness”. Gender & Society. 26 (5). 748 – 772.

Boulton, Tiffany and Claudia Malacrida (2012). “Women and Cosmetic Breast Surgery: Weighing the Medical, Social and Lifestyle Risks”. Qualitative Health Research. 22 (4). 511 – 523.

Malacrida, Claudia (2010). “Understanding Income Support Policy in Canada and the United Kingdom: Women’s Narratives and Critical Discourse Analysis”. Disability & Society. 25:6. 673 – 686.

Malacrida, Claudia (2009). “Gendered Ironies in Home Care: Surveillance, Gender Struggles and Infantilization”. International Journal of Inclusive Education. 13(7). 741 – 752.

Malacrida Claudia (2009). “Performing Motherhood in a Disablist World: Dilemmas of Motherhood, Femininity and Disability”. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. 23(1). 99 – 117.

Malacrida, Claudia and Stefanie Duguay (2009). ” ‘The AISH Review is a Big Joke’: Contradictions of policy participation and consultation in a neoliberal context”. Disability & Society. 24 (1). 19 – 32.

Malacrida, Claudia (2007). “Negotiating the Dependency/Nurturance Tightrope: Dilemmas of Disabled Motherhood”. The Canadian Review of Sociology. 44 (4). 469 – 493.

Malacrida, Claudia (2007). “Reflexive Journaling on Emotional Research Topics: Issues for Team Researchers”. Qualitative Health Research. 17 (10). 1329 – 1340.

Malacrida, Claudia (2006). “Contested Memories: Efforts of the Powerful to Silence Former Inmates’ Histories of Life in an Institution”. Lessons from History: Special Issue. Disability & Society. 21 (5). 397 – 410.

Malacrida, Claudia (2005). “Discipline and Dehumanization in a Total Institution: Institutional Survivors’ Descriptions of Time-Out Rooms”. Disability & Society. 20 (5). 523 – 537.

Malacrida, Claudia (2004). “Medicalization, ambivalence and social control: Mothers’ description of educators and ADD/ADHD”. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. 8 (1). 61 – 80.

Malacrida, Claudia (2002). “Alternative Therapies and Attention Deficit Disorder: Discourses of Motherhood, Science and Risk”. Gender & Society. 16 (3). 366 – 385.

Malacrida, Claudia (2001). “Motherhood, Resistance and Attention Deficit Disorder: Strategies and Limits”. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology. 38 (2). 141 – 165.

Malacrida, Claudia (1999). “Complicating Mourning: The Social Economy of Perinatal Death”. Qualitative Health Research. 9 (4). 504 – 519.

Malacrida, Claudia (1997). “Perinatal Death: Helping Parents Find Their Way”. Journal of Family Nursing. 3 (2). 130 – 148.