This article analyzes The Business of Being Born, a documentary that critiques dominant American childbirth practices, practitioners, and locations as overmedicalized, and offers midwife-attended homebirth as a safe, viable option. The rhetorical-cultural analysis focuses on the documentary's reception, including twenty-six film reviews and two statements issued by the American Medical Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The article demonstrates the role of ethos in genre reception, with a particular look at celebrity ethos associated with documentaries. The article suggests not only that visual arguments such as documentaries currently affect cultural conversations more readily than print arguments but also that dominant discourses and ideologies delimit those conversations' boundaries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Literature and Literary Theory