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  • Author or Editor: Paula A. Michaels x
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Abstract

This article reconstructs the story of the Soviet Union’s medical internationalism amid the early years of destalinization, when it re-engaged more actively in the global health community. How did the USSR attempt to leverage medicine as a tool of soft power in both multilateral and bilateral relations? Based on records of the USSR Ministry of Health and the Medical Workers Union, as well as newspapers and other published sources, it analyzes what destalinization meant for physicians and public health administrators who sought greater exchange with and connection to their colleagues abroad. A widening web of interconnections in this transitional period paved the way to greater integration in a global medical community. Soviet medical and health professionals nurtured international relationships with a range of strategies, expectations, and aspirations. They used these opportunities to learn, and also to speak back to their superiors and to shape the trajectories of domestic research agendas.

Open Access
In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

This chapter1 reconstructs the recent history of pain in childbirth, a universal physiological phenomenon intertwined with the socio-cultural context in which it unfolds. It focuses on the period from the 1950s through the 1970s, a time of flux in the understanding of childbirth pain within the medical profession and the general public. This era witnessed an emphasis on the role of female psychology in obstetric pain. Two similar psychological approaches to obstetric pain emerged: natural childbirth, promoted by British physician Grantly Dick-Read, and psychoprophylaxis, developed by Soviet neuropsychologist I. Z. Vel’vovskii and popularized in the West by French obstetrician Fernand Lamaze. In an effort to highlight trans-national influences and national idiosyncrasies, I take a comparative approach to the meanings attributed to childbirth pain in France and the United States, viewing them against related relevant developments in the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom and tracing the ways in which the dynamic, dialogic clinical encounter between medical practitioners and their patients inscribed shifting social meanings and values on labour pain.

In: Knowledge and Pain

This chapter1 reconstructs the recent history of pain in childbirth, a universal physiological phenomenon intertwined with the socio-cultural context in which it unfolds. It focuses on the period from the 1950s through the 1970s, a time of flux in the understanding of childbirth pain within the medical profession and the general public. This era witnessed an emphasis on the role of female psychology in obstetric pain. Two similar psychological approaches to obstetric pain emerged: natural childbirth, promoted by British physician Grantly Dick-Read, and psychoprophylaxis, developed by Soviet neuropsychologist I. Z. Vel’vovskii and popularized in the West by French obstetrician Fernand Lamaze. In an effort to highlight trans-national influences and national idiosyncrasies, I take a comparative approach to the meanings attributed to childbirth pain in France and the United States, viewing them against related relevant developments in the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom and tracing the ways in which the dynamic, dialogic clinical encounter between medical practitioners and their patients inscribed shifting social meanings and values on labour pain.

In: Knowledge and Pain