How we raise our children differs greatly from society to society, with many cultures responding differently to such questions as how a parent should respond to a crying child, how often a baby should be nursed, and at what age a child should learn to sleep alone. Ethnopediatrics--the study of parents, children, and child rearing across cultures--is the subject of anthropologist Meredith F. Small's thorough and fascinating book Our Babies, Ourselves.
Small asserts that our ideas about how to raise our kids are as much a result of our culture as our biology, and that, in fact, many of the values we place on child-rearing practices are based in culture rather than biology. Small writes, "Every act by parents, every goal that molds that act, has a foundation in what is appropriate for that particular culture. In this sense, no parenting style is 'right' and no style is 'wrong.' It is appropriate or inappropriate only according to the culture." Our Babies, Ourselves is a wonderful read for anyone interested in the social sciences, and will be especially meaningful to those swept up in the wild adventure of parenting. --Ericka Lutz --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In this thoroughly researched and well-referenced book, anthropology professor Small (What's Love Got To Do with It, LJ 9/15/95) explores ethnopediatrics, an interdisciplinary science that combines anthropology, pediatrics, and child development research in order to examine how child-rearing styles across cultures affect the health and survival of infants. Small describes the different parenting styles of several cultures, including (but not limited to) the nomadic Ache tribe of Paraguay, the agrarian !Kung San society of the Kalahari Desert in Africa, and the American industrialized society. In discussing these societies, she illustrates that although there are numerous ways to care for babies, some cultural norms of care are actually at odds with the way infants have evolved. Thus, parents should expect "trade-offs" when they act in opposition to how babies are designed. Small speculates that the custom of mothers in industrialized nations to wean early or not to breastfeed at all may be responsible for the higher incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, more medical problems and fatalities, and more crying than is commonly noted in babies of more agrarian societies. She urges parents to recognize that although their native culture does have an impact on their parenting, they can adopt aspects of child rearing from other cultures, if they choose. Highly recommended for all anthropology and child development collections and appropriate for general audiences as well.?Ximena Chrisagis, Wright State Univ Libs., Dayton, OH
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Forget "What to expect...", this is THE book every parent and grandparent should read.Published 18 days ago by Emilia
I thought (or hoped?) this book would be more objective. United States culture was constantly criticized and seen as the most extreme example of "distant" or... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jessica
This book gave me great perspective on parenting. I found it very interesting, engaging and easy to read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Carmen
I read this book during my wife's pregnancy. Our daughter was born last month, and this book was a great resource during the entire pregnancy and childbirth process.Published 4 months ago by Kevin Walters
Excellent information. Gives you an evolutionary view on what shaped Han birth and how culture has changed itPublished 4 months ago by Naren
Made a lot of sense to me. There is a lot of criticism of the American approach to baby upbringing, but that's becuase of the author. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Vera Pasynkova