A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies

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Cambridge University Press, May 18, 2000 - Family & Relationships - 280 pages
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Are babies divine, or do they have the devil in them? Should parents talk to their infants, or is it a waste of time? Answers to questions about the nature and nurture of infants appear in this book as advice to parents in seven world societies. Imagine what Dr. Spock might have written if he were a healer from Bali...or an Aboriginal grandmother from the Australian desert...or a diviner from a rural village in West Africa. As the seven "child care manuals" in this book reveal, experts worldwide offer intriguingly different advice to new parents. A World of Babies brings alive infant care practices around the world in the form of baby and child care manuals "written" by members of seven real societies. The information, while presented in an imaginative fictive format, is based on extensive research by anthropologists, psychologists, and historians. Encountering fascinating facts about how people in other societies view and raise their babies, readers may be led to see the beliefs and practices of their own society from a new perspective. The creative format of this book brings alive a rich fund of ethnographic knowledge, vividly illustrating a simple but powerful truth: there exist many models of babyhood, each shaped by deeply held values and widely varying cultural contexts. After reading this book, you will never again view child-rearing as a matter of "common sense." Judy DeLoache is Professor of Psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Alma Gottlieb is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 

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User Review  - byroade - LibraryThing

A really fascinating look at how different cultures raise their babies. After you read this you'll realize just how arbitrary many of our modern parenting ideas really are. Read full review

A world of babies: imagined childcare guides for seven societies

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This unusual compilation makes for much more fascinating reading than would a strict narrative about international child-rearing practices. The editors (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) present ... Read full review

Contents

If Dr Spock Were Born in Bali Raising a World of Babies
1
A Parenting Manual with Words of Advice for Puritan Mothers
29
Luring Your Child Into This Life A Beng Path for Infant Care
55
Gift from the Gods A Balinese Guide to Early Child Rearing
91
Making Babies in a Turkish Village
117
Infants of the Dreaming A Warlpiri Guide to Child Care
145
The View from the Wuro A Guide to Child Rearing for Fulani Parents
171
Never Leave Your Little One Alone Raising an Ifaluk Child
199
Note to Chapter One
221
About the Contributors
223
Authors Acknowledgments
227
Citations and Sources Cited
233
Index
267
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About the author (2000)

JUDY DELOACHE is Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is co-editor of Current Readings in Child Development, Third Edition (1998) and co-author of Child Psychology (forthcoming).

ALMA GOTTLIEB is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her publications include Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa (1993, with Philip Graham), Under the Kapok Tree: Identity and Difference in Beng Thought (1992), and Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation (1988, co-edited with Thomas Buckley).

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