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Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town (Child Development in Cultural Context) 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195319903
ISBN-10: 0195319907
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The beautifully written narrative is highly accessible, even gripping. It is enriched by photos that span decades. The account is personal and moving, weaving in stories of the author's own evolution as a participant-observer and ethnographer... At the same time, it has very broad reach, illuminating some of the most profound themes of human development. The book truly is a must read for all with interests in development or culture." -- Susan A. Gelman,  University of Michigan, review in PsycCRITIQUES (American Psychological Association)

"A rare glimpse into the changes in people's lives and environment over the course of seven decades. The dozens of images, together with their informative captions, are superbly integrated into the text...Recommended" -- A. H. Koblitz, Arizona State University, CHOICE

"This book is a must-read for those interested in culture, child development, globalization, and birth." -- Ashley E. Maynard, University of Hawai`i, review in Ethos

"Barbara Rogoff breaks new ground in the way she thinks about change in a traditional society." -- Arte Maya Tzutuhil Newsletter

"A lovely and fascinating anthropological look at culture and the impact of one woman, and her community role as a midwife, on her community. Rogoff addresses gender, child development, religion/spirituality, and informal community-based learning processes....  Her book is innovative.... It is sure to be a welcome addition to many fields, in education and beyond."-- finalist for the Jackie Kirk Outstanding Book Award

From the Author

The royalties for this book are donated to the Taa' Pi't Learning Center and other projects in this Mayan town.
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Product Details

  • Series: Child Development in Cultural Context
  • Hardcover: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (April 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195319907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195319903
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #984,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Longitudinal studies have long been the bedrock of the human development research world. In her new book, Barbara Rogoff has developed a creative and interesting variation of this approach in which the key players are the researcher and her subject and the time frame is 35 years. In very clear language, easily accessible to non-social scientists, Dr. Rogoff describes the interesting and important role played by a Mayan sacred midwife in her Guatemalan community, as well as the cultural changes that occur in this community over the course of decades. The influence of culture - in some instances centuries old - on human development is fascinating, as is the equally powerful transformation of cultural practice as the community increases its collective engagement with the modern world. A most enjoyable narrative illustrated with numerous photographs.

Michael F, EdD
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Besides being informative, this book is a real charmer to read, and I can't recommend it enough. It will be especially appreciated by anybody who has lived in a foreign village culture long enough to realize how much mystery lies beyond what they think is familiar, and how little of what goes on they understand even when they think they know. And this is about a traditional midwife, her life and all the culture around her calling, which is especially mysterious territory for many of us---especially us guys. All you returned Peace Corps Volunteers who (like me) struggled in a village to learn a foreign language and culture and came to love people you understood less all the time, will identify with this story. And if you were in Latin America and lived with indigenous peoples, it is for you a must-read.

Barbara Rogoff is an important academic theorist of human development well known in child development circles for her groundbreaking books and articles that look at what and how children learn through engagement in community with each other and with adults. Intellectually she walks the territory where psychology and anthropology overlap, and her publications generally have to do with the interplay between culture and individual development. But in this one she leaves ventures out away from her dispassionate academic base to engage her heart as well, and the result is a work of art as well as a highly informative ethnographic narrative.

In my view, this book is likely to turn out to be a classic that beginning university anthropology students may be reading for generations to come.
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Format: Hardcover
"Developing Destinies - A Mayan Midwife and Town" is an utterly engaging book that makes one feel as though one is right there amidst the Mayas whose culture is so masterfully woven into the fabric of this book. The photos are unique and make the narrative even more alive as do the Aztec and other illustrations. This is an outstanding book, a true masterpiece.
Inge Bolin Ph.D, Dept. of Anthropology, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book gives both an extensive history of a small Guatemalan town, and an in depth description of the practices of the peoples of that town while describing the amazing life of a midwife. Really accessible and very interesting! I think this book would be a treat for many audiences.
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