Culture, Illness and Healing

Child Survival

Anthropological Perspectives on the Treatment and Maltreatment of Children

Editors: Scheper-Hughes, Nancy (Ed.)

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About this book

of older children, adults, and the family unit as a whole. These moral evaluations are, in turn, influenced by such external contingencies as popula­ tion demography, social and economic factors, subsistence strategies, house­ hold composition, and by cultural ideas concerning the nature of infancy and childhood, definitions of personhood, and beliefs about the soul and its immortality. MOTHER LOVE AND CHILD DEATH Of all the many factors that endanger the lives of young children, by far the most difficult to examine with any degree of dispassionate objectivity is the quality of parenting. Historians and social scientists, no less than the public at large, are influenced by old cultural myths about childhood inno­ cence and mother love as well as their opposites. The terrible power and significance attributed to maternal behavior (in particular) is a commonsense perception based on the observation that the human infant (specialized as it is for prematurity and prolonged dependency) simply cannot survive for very long without considerable maternal love and care. The infant's life depends, to a very great extent, on the good will of others, but most especially, of course, that of the mother. Consequently, it has been the fate of mothers throughout history to appear in strange and distorted forms. They may appear as larger than life or as invisible; as all-powerful and destructive; or as helpless and angelic. Myths of the maternal instinct compete, historically, witli -myths of a universal infanticidal impulse.

Reviews

`Broadly ranging and often provocative, this volume is a notable attempt to draw together explanations for childhood death. It will stimulate thinking on the levels of child wastage tolerated and accommodated by whole societies and at the same time offerperspectives on the complex casuality of criminal deaths to individual children. The collection provides a new measure of pluralistic and interdisciplinary consideration that should influence future research on child survival issues.'
Odile Frank, Associate Center for Policy Studies, The Population Council
`A powerful and tragic expose of child abuse as an epidemic of the modern world. How aggressive policies against maltreatment mask collective social responsibility.'
Carol B. Stack, Duke University
`This is a well-edited book that offers some compelling, intellectually provocative insights for clinicians and social scientists alike ... Although it clearly qualifies as a textbook and a reference book, it contains several chapters that will strongly interest the clinician.'
The New England Journal of Medicine (1988)

Table of contents (19 chapters)

  • The Cultural Politics of Child Survival

    Scheper-Hughes, Nancy

    Pages 1-29

  • Birth Planning in Rural China: A Cultural Account

    Potter, Sulamith Heins

    Pages 33-58

  • Fertility Change, Child Survival, and Child Development: Observations on a Rural Kenyan Community

    Harkness, Sara (et al.)

    Pages 59-70

  • Food Taboos and Child Survival: A Case Study from the Coral Sea

    Lepowsky, Maria

    Pages 71-92

  • Female Infanticide and Child Neglect in Rural North India

    Miller, Barbara D.

    Pages 95-112

Buy this book

eBook $279.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-009-3393-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $359.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-55608-028-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $359.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-55608-029-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Child Survival
Book Subtitle
Anthropological Perspectives on the Treatment and Maltreatment of Children
Editors
  • Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Series Title
Culture, Illness and Healing
Series Volume
11
Copyright
1987
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
D. Reidel Publishing Company
eBook ISBN
978-94-009-3393-4
DOI
10.1007/978-94-009-3393-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-55608-028-9
Softcover ISBN
978-1-55608-029-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 397
Topics