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Volume 5

Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives


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Breast Feeding and Sexuality

Behaviour, Beliefs and Taboos among the Gogo Mothers in Tanzania

Mara Mabilia
Translated from the Italian by Mary S. Ash

176 pages, 4 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-677-1 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (June 2005)

ISBN  978-1-84545-299-5 $27.95/£19.00 Pb Published (October 2006)

eISBN 978-1-78238-607-0 eBook


Hb Pb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors

“This volume is exemplary in the field of anthropological research…The writing style is clear and reflective…I recommend Breastfeeding and Sexuality for those interested in Tanzanian maternal–child health practices, cross-cultural studies, anthropological research methods, breast-feeding and women’s experiences.”  ·  Journal of Biosocial Science

"...the book is to be highly recommended."  ·  JRAI

Whereas in western countries breastfeeding is an uncontroversial, purely personal issue, in most parts of the world mother and baby form part of a network of interpersonal relations with its own rules and expectations. In this study, the author examines the cultural and social context of breastfeeding among the Gogo women of the Cigongwe's village in Tanzania, as part of the Paediatric Programme of Doctors with Africa, based in Padua. The focus is on mothers' behaviour and post partum taboos as key elements in Gogo understanding of the vicissitudes of the breast feeding process. This nutritional period is subject to many different events both physical and social that may upset the natural and intense link between mother and child. Any violation of cultural norms, particularly those dealing with sexual behaviour, marriage and reproduction, can, in the eyes of the Gogo, put at risk the correct development of an infant with serious consequences both for the baby's health as well as for the woman's image as mother and wife.

Mara Mabilia teaches at the Intercultural Studies Master's Programme as well as Cultural Anthropology with a sub-field in Cooperation and Development at the Faculty of Education, both at University of Padua. She also lectures in other Postgraduate programmes (University of Brescia and University of Rome). She prepares doctors who serve as volunteers in Africa at C.U.A.M.M. Doctors with Africa - International College for Health Cooperation in Developing Countries, Padua.

Subject: Medical Anthropology Gender Studies
Area: Africa

LC: DT443.3.G64 M33 2005

BL: YC.2005.a.11557

BISAC: SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General; MED000000 MEDICAL/General; SOC032000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Gender Studies

BIC: PSXM Medical anthropology; JFSJ1 Gender studies: women




Contents

Acknowledgements
Illustrations

Introduction

Chapter 1. Cigongwe

  • Towards the village
  • Meeting with the village
  • Fieldwork
  • The route of the research

Chapter 2. The Gogo Women

  • The living space
  • The house
  • Nyumba: physical-residential unit, social-residential unit
  • The Gogo woman

Chapter 3. Breast Feeding

  • Breast feeding between nature and culture
  • The modalities of breast feeding
  • Breast milk
  • ‘Bad milk’ in only one breast

Chapter 4. The ‘Good Mother’, the ‘Bad Mother’: Diarrhoea as a Sign of Social Disorder

  • Inside the problem
  • Motherhood and mothering
  • The health of the newborn: a challenge to survival
  • Post-partum taboos

Chapter 5. Maternal Milk: Indicator of ‘Good Mother’

  • Breast feeding: a bridge between the different levels of the Gogo social system
  • The woman: mother and nurturer
  • A brief return to the village

Bibliography
Index

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