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Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385483627, Paperback)How we raise our children differs greatly from society to society, with many cultures responding differently to such questions as how a parent should respond to a crying child, how often a baby should be nursed, and at what age a child should learn to sleep alone. Ethnopediatrics--the study of parents, children, and child rearing across cultures--is the subject of anthropologist Meredith F. Small's thorough and fascinating book Our Babies, Ourselves.
Small asserts that our ideas about how to raise our kids are as much a result of our culture as our biology, and that, in fact, many of the values we place on child-rearing practices are based in culture rather than biology. Small writes, "Every act by parents, every goal that molds that act, has a foundation in what is appropriate for that particular culture. In this sense, no parenting style is 'right' and no style is 'wrong.' It is appropriate or inappropriate only according to the culture." Our Babies, Ourselves is a wonderful read for anyone interested in the social sciences, and will be especially meaningful to those swept up in the wild adventure of parenting. --Ericka Lutz
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:07 -0400)
"In the winter of 1995, in a dimly lit room in Atlanta, Georgia, I witnessed a birth. Not the birth of a baby, but of a new science, ethnopediatrics." Thus begins Dr. Meredith F. Small's new book on the study of parents and infants across cultures and the way different caretaking styles affect the health, well-being, and survival of infants. Each culture, and often each family, offers advice and directives on the right and wrong way to raise and care for infants, from feeding, interaction, and emotional support to mandating what is normal in terms of infant sleeping, crying, and more. Yet scientists are finding that what we are taught is the right way to parent our children is often based on nothing more than cultural tradition - and may even run counter to a baby's biological needs. Written for parents and science lovers alike, Our Babies, Ourselves shows what makes us bring up our kids the way we doand what is actually best for babies.
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