Cover image for A world of babies : imagined childcare guides for seven societies
A world of babies : imagined childcare guides for seven societies
DeLoache, Judy S.
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xv, 280 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
If Dr. Spock were born in Bali: raising a world of babies / Judy S. DeLoache, Alma Gottlieb -- A parenting manual, with words of advice for puritan mothers / Debbie Reese -- Luring your child into this life: a Beng path for infant care / Alma Gottlieb -- Gift from the gods: a Balinese guide to early child rearing / Marissa Diener -- Making babies in a Turkish village / Carol Delaney -- Infants of the dreaming: a warlpiri guide to child care / Sophia L. Pierroutsakos -- The view from the Wuro: a guide to child rearing for Fulani parents / Michelle C. Johnson -- Never leave your little one alone: raising an Ifaluk child / Huynh-Nhu Le.

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GN482 .W67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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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.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Every culture thinks that it knows the best way to care for babies. DeLoache and Gottlieb, both professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have gathered fictionalized accounts, based on factual information and including a brief description of the culture, of how various societies throughout history and the world think their offspring should be raised. Each of these accounts is written in a style similar to Dr. Benjamin Spock's child-care manuals, but using the traditions of each represented culture to create an analogous guidebook. This is an entertaining and educational collection of invented guidebooks spanning the globe. Questions such as what is the key to a successful pregnancy, when to bathe the baby, how long to nurse, and how to celebrate the various ceremonies that revolve around a birth are descriptively explained through the eyes of societies such as the Puritans of New England, the Fulani of western Africa, and a Muslim village in central Turkey. This book is an intriguing opportunity to learn about other cultures. --Julia Glynn

Library Journal Review

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 seven societies by way of fictional childcare manuals in the manner of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care. Some of the imaginary advisers cited are based on real people (e.g., grandmothers) whom new parents might consult. In some cases, the authors present their own field studies while cautioning that these are "in no way intended to advise members of these societies on how to raise their children." The point is not to prescribe from the conceit of Western society but to report how different cultures view child rearing. All child-rearing practices derive from layers of cultural traditions established through generations, and the similarities and differences among these seven diverse societies are striking. What remains constant is the care of children and their place in each society. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.--Margaret Cardwell, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Jerome BrunerJudy S. DeLoache and Alma GottliebDebbie ReeseAlma GottliebMarissa DienerCarol DelaneySophia L. PierroutsakosMichelle C. JohnsonHuynh-Nhu Le
Forewordp. ix
Editors' Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Note to the Readerp. xv
Chapter 1 If Dr. Spock Were Born in Bali: Raising a World of Babiesp. 1
Chapter 2 A Parenting Manual, with Words of Advice for Puritan Mothersp. 29
Chapter 3 Luring Your Child into This Life: A Beng Path for Infant Carep. 55
Chapter 4 Gift from the Gods: A Balinese Guide to Early Child Rearingp. 91
Chapter 5 Making Babies in a Turkish Villagep. 117
Chapter 6 Infants of the Dreaming: A Warlpiri Guide to Child Carep. 145
Chapter 7 The View from the Wuro: A Guide to Child Rearing for Fulani Parentsp. 171
Chapter 8 Never Leave Your Little One Alone: Raising an Ifaluk Childp. 199
Note to Chapter Onep. 221
About the Contributorsp. 223
Authors' Acknowledgmentsp. 227
Citations and Sources Citedp. 233
Indexp. 267