Ethnographies of Breastfeeding Cultural Contexts and Confrontations

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-02-12
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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Studies of breastfeeding have proliferated over the last decade. Breastfeeding is an intimate and deep-rooted bodily practice and yet also a highly controversial sociocultural process, invoking strong reactions from advocates and opponents. Whilst breastfeeding practices and experiences vary greatly in different parts of the world, reducing infant mortality is a pressing international goal for governments and societies.

Representing cross-cultural concerns of researchers, policy-makers and mothers, this important book takes a rich ethnographic survey of breastfeeding all over the world. Breastfeeding is shown to highlight various links between gender, power and resources in culture. Each chapter covers a new topic and ethnic or national group, and major topical themes of research such as the rise of milk banks, mother-to-mother sharing networks facilitated by social media, breast milk and HIV are explored.

Author Biography

Tanya Cassidy is a research fellow at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland and is adjunct professor with the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology at the University of Windsor in Canada.

Abdullahi El-Tom is Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM), Ireland and was elected to the executive board of the European Association of Social Anthropologists in 2010.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
1. Introduction to Breastfeeding Cross-culturally
Tanya Cassidy and Abdullahi El Tom, both of National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland
2. Rethinking Breastfeeding as Product and Process
Penny Van Esterik, York University, Canada
3. Breastfeeding among Women in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Alanna Rudzik, Durham University, UK
4. Demedicalization as Empowerment: The Discourses, Practices and Identities of Informal Milk Sharing
Aunchalee Palmquist, Elon University, USA
5. Exploring Women’s Experiences of Breastfeeding and Expressing in the UK and France
Charlotte Faircloth, University of Kent, UK
6. The Naturalist Discourse Surrounding Breastfeeding among French Mothers
Gervaise Debucquet, Audencia Nantes School of Management, France, and Valérie Adt, L’Institut Interdisciplinaire du Contemporain, France
7. Breast Milk, Migration and Milk Banking in Italy
Rossella Cevese, Università degli Studi di Verona, Italy
8. Irish Maternal Generosity, Community and Breast Milk
Tanya Cassidy, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland
9. Between Jealousy and Insecurity: Breastfeeding Debates and Dilemmas in Surrogacy
Sunita Reddy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, Tulsi Patel, University of Delhi, India, Birgitte Bruun Nielsen, Aarhus University, Denmark, and Malene Tanderup, Aarhus University, Denmark
10. Religion, Wet-nursing and Breast Milk in Darfur, Sudan
Abdullahi El Tom, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland
11. Between Proscription and Government Control of Breastfeeding in West Africa
Alice Desclaux and Chiara Alfieri, both of Université d'Aix-Marseille, France
12. Public Health, HIV and Infant Feeding
Anne Matthews, Dublin City University, Ireland
13. ‘Spare Milk’? Breast Milk Donation as Care Work
Katherine Carroll, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
14. Gender, Power and Resources for Infant Feeding
Vanessa Maher, University of Turin, Italy

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