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Dancing Skeletons : Life and Death in West Africa

Dancing Skeletons : Life and Death in West Africa - 94 edition

ISBN13: 978-0881337488

Cover of Dancing Skeletons : Life and Death in West Africa 94 (ISBN 978-0881337488)
ISBN13: 978-0881337488
ISBN10: 088133748X
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 94
Publisher: Waveland Press, Inc.
Published: 1994
International: No

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Dancing Skeletons : Life and Death in West Africa - 94 edition

ISBN13: 978-0881337488

Katherine Dettwyler

ISBN13: 978-0881337488
ISBN10: 088133748X
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 94
Publisher: Waveland Press, Inc.

Published: 1994
International: No
Summary

1995 Margaret Mead Award winner! This personal account by a biocultural anthropologist illuminates important, not-soon-forgotten messages involving the more sobering aspects of conducting fieldwork among malnourished children in West Africa. With nutritional anthropology at its core, Dancing Skeletons presents informal, engaging, and oftentimes dramatic stories from the field that relate the author's experiences conducting research on infant feeding and health in Mali. Through fascinating vignettes and honest, vivid descriptions, Dettwyler explores such diverse topics as ethnocentrism, culture shock, population control, breastfeeding, child care, the meaning of disability and child death in different cultures, female circumcision, women's roles in patrilineal societies, the dangers of fieldwork, and the realities involved in researching emotionally draining topics. Readers will alternately laugh and cry as they meet the author's friends and informants, follow her through a series of encounters with both peri-urban and rural Bambara culture, and struggle with her as she attempts to reconcile her very different roles as objective ethnographer, subjective friend, and mother in the field.

Author Bio

Dettwyler, Katherine A. : Texas A&M University

Dr. Katherine A. Dettwyler is an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Nutrition at Texas A&M University. She is the author of Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa, which recounts tales of her fieldwork on child health in Mali. Dancing Skeletons was awarded the 1995 Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. She is also the co-editor of Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives, which includes her own two chapters "Beauty and the Breast: The Cultural Context of Breastfeeding in the United States," and "A Time to Wean: The Hominid Blueprint for a Natural Age of Weaning in Modern Human Populations." She is the author of many other scholarly articles and is currently writing a book on research methodology in the study of infant/child feeding. She is a frequent speaker at universities, La Leche League conferences, and lactation consultant conferences. She lives in Delaware with her husband, three children, 2 dogs, and four cats.