A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies
Cambridge University Press, 2000-08-03
EAN 9780521664752, ISBN10: 0521664756
Paperback, 296 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.7 cm
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 â€¦ or an Aboriginal grandmother from the Australian desert â€¦ or a diviner from a rural village in West Africa. As the seven childcare 'manuals' in this book reveal, experts worldwide offer intriguingly different advice to new parents. 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'.
'A World of Babies is a witty, charming, and yet thoughtful and informative book that ... is ... for anyone who has ever wondered if babies are raised the same everywhere. A World of Babies, with its seven truth-filled fictional manuals on child-rearing from different parts of the world, gently persuades us that bringing a new person into existence is always a question of culture and history.' Ruth Behar, University of Michigan