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Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care$
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Jane Banaszak-Holl, Sandra Levitsky, and Mayer Zald

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388299.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2020

From Infanticide to Activism

From Infanticide to Activism

Emotions and Identity in Self-Help Movements

(p.266) 16 From Infanticide to Activism
Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care

Verta Taylor

Lisa Leitz

Oxford University Press

Taylor and Leitz trace processes of collective identity construction and politicization among women suffering from postpartum psychiatric illness who have been convicted of infanticide. Joining a growing body of research suggesting that self‐help and consumer health movements can be a significant force for change in both the cultural and political arenas, Taylor and Lietz examine one such movement, a pen‐pal network of women incarcerated for committing infanticide. Taylor and Leitz show how a sense of collective identity fostered by the pen‐pal network triggered a profound emotional transformation in participants, allowing them to convert shame and loneliness into pride and solidarity, and encouraging their participation in efforts to change how the medical and legal system treat postpartum psychiatric illness.

Keywords:   social movements, collective identity, self help, infanticide, post partum, mobilization, psychiatric, mental health, health

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