Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation

Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation

Paperback

Edited by Thomas Buckley, Edited by Alma Gottlieb

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 275 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 203mm x 25mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 2 June 1988
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520063503
  • ISBN 13: 9780520063501
  • Illustrations note: line illustrations
  • Sales rank: 395,385

Product description

Examining cultures as diverse as long-house dwellers in North Borneo, African farmers, Welsh housewives, and postindustrial American workers, this volume dramatically redefines the anthropological study of menstrual customs. It challenges the widespread image of a universal 'menstrual taboo' as well as the common assumption of universal female subordination which underlies it. Contributing important new material and perspectives to our understanding of comparative gender politics and symbolism, it is of particular importance to those interested in anthropology, women's studies, religion, and comparative health systems.

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Review quote

"Menstrual taboos have long been a favorite subject of ethnographic inquiry, but in the past their study has suffered from both an ethnocentric and male-centered bias. Burdened by their own set of 'menstrual taboos, ' ethnographers have too often assumed they knew what those of another culture meant. Blood Magic, a collection of essays by nine fieldworkers in anthropology and related disciplines, marks a welcome departure from earlier studies in a number of ways. It derives its perspective from women's studies in recognizing the need to focus on women's experiences as well as those of men, and in recognizing the importance of female fieldworkers to do this. This is the first book-length collection of essays to grow out of recent cultural anthropological research on menstruation. Never before has the study of menstruation been so well informed by a combination of fieldwork and theoretical approaches to the study of gender and the symbolism of the body. This is the first book-length collection of essays to grow out of recent cultural anthropological research on menstruation. Never before has the study of menstruation been so well informed by a combination of fieldwork and theoretical approaches to the study of gender and the symbolism of the body . . . This is a well-constructed and well-researched collection, grounded in received anthropological theory, yet looking far beyond it."--Jennifer Livesay "Folklore Forum "

Back cover copy

"Sets the stage for an ethnography of menstruation beliefs and will, I predict, be viewed as the opening work of a whole ethnographic tradition . . . will be widely cited."--Anna Meigs, Macalester College"Provides a concise and complete critique of the literature and thinking on menstrual practices and introduces new analyses and concepts with regard to previously unknown material."--Ann L. Wright, University of Arizona