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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 childcare 'manuals' in this book reveal, experts worldwide offer intriguingly different advice to new parents. The creative format of this book brings alive a rich fund of ethgraphic kwledge, 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 University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is co-editor of Current Readings in Child Development, Third Edition (1998) and co-author of Child Psychology (forthcoming). ALMA GOTTLIEB is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her publications include Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa (1993, with Philip Graham), Under the Kapok Tree: Identity and Difference in Beng Thought (1992), and Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation (1988, co-edited with Thomas Buckley).