Whose 'modernity' is it anyway? Translation in the web-based natural-birth movement in Turkey

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This article presents a case study of text production at the intersection of maternity care services and medical ethics. It examines the role of translation in web-based material promoting non-medicalized, natural birth in Turkey, and has three main objectives: to demonstrate the variety of the media and mediators through which new ideas travel; to investigate what “modernity” might entail in diverse, often contentious contexts; and to highlight the fuzzy boundaries of translation as used in cyberactivism. The study picks up certain themes, such as the foreign, power, choice and time, to explicate the context and translational decisions underlying the text production on a website promoting natural birth. It also points out some incongruities and anachronisms in relation to “modernity” and birth within Turkey in order to locate the text production at hand within its real-life context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-245
JournalTranslation Studies
Issue number2
Early online date8 Apr 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • translation in social movements
  • natural-birth activism
  • World Wide Web
  • non-professionals translating
  • Turkish modernity
  • travelling ideas


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