ASA logo
Medicalizing Birth: Using the DENT framework to Consider Conflicting Options
A pregnant person placing their hands on their belly
Cover Page
Requires Subscription PDF


Physician-Patient Interaction
Medical Sociology

How to Cite

Greene, Kaylin. 2024. “Medicalizing Birth: Using the DENT Framework to Consider Conflicting Options”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, April. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


In this activity, students work together in teams to apply their critical thinking skills and their understanding of the medicalization of birth to a hypothetical scenario.  The activity uses a modified DENT framework in which students are given an ill-defined problem and asked to 1) Describe the problem(s), 2) Explore ideas and solutions, 3) Narrow...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.


Subject Area(s):
Medical Sociology, Social Welfare/Social Work
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
College 200, College 300, College 400
Class Size(s):
Medium, Small

Usage Notes

This activity is best suited for upper-division classes such as the sociology of health or medical sociology. Students will ponder a hypothetical scenario and work together in teams to fill out a DENT worksheet to solve the problem. This activity works best if the students have already been introduced to the concept of medicalization and if the...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.

Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Students will analyze a problem pertaining to the medicalization of birth by clarifying the problem(s) and generating related questions.
  2. Students will identify how potential solutions could impact various stakeholders (including, but not limited to, patients as well as providers).
  3. Students will create individual and structural solutions to the problem(s) and differentiate between each.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. In the written worksheet, students must identify at least two components of the problem and list at least three questions that they have about the problem (under the ‘define’ and ‘explore’ sections, respectively). If students see the problem as unidimensional, or cannot generate questions related to the problem statement, then they do not meet this goal.
  2. In the written worksheet, students must rank their solutions and include specific explanations about how the solution could benefit or harm patients as well as doctors (under the “narrow” section). Students who fail to make connections with these stakeholders and those who discuss the impacts of the solutions generally (without discussing perspectives of...
  3. In their written worksheet as well as when they present their solutions to the class,
    students must explain their solutions as well as correctly identify the type of solution. Students have met this goal when they generate and successfully differentiate between individual solutions (i.e., action oriented solutions for the patient) and structural...

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

Cover Page
Requires Subscription PDF

Our website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, to increase the speed and security for the site, to provide analytics about our site and visitors, and for marketing. By proceeding to the site, you are expressing your consent to the use of cookies. To find out more about how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy .