Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge: Cross-Cultural Perspectives


By (author) Robbie E. Davis-Floyd, By (author) Carolyn Fishel Sargent

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Hardback | 505 pages
  • Dimensions: 159mm x 235mm x 38mm | 857g
  • Publication date: 27 August 1997
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520206258
  • ISBN 13: 9780520206250
  • Illustrations note: 2 line drawings, 4 tables

Product description

This collection of cross-cultural essays on reproduction and childbirth extends the work of Brigitte Jordan, who helped generate and define the field of the anthropology of birth. The authors' focus on authoritative knowledge - the knowledge that counts, on the basis of which decisions are made and actions taken - highlights the vast differences between birthing systems that give authority of knowing to women and their communities and those that invest it in experts and machines. The text presents first-hand ethnographic research conducted by anthropologists in 16 different societies and cultures and includes interdisciplinary perspectives of a social psychologist, a sociologist, an epidemiologist, a staff member of the World Health Organization, and a community midwife.

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Author information

Robbie Davis-Floyd, Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas, is author of "Birth as an American Rite of Passage" (California, 1992) and co-editor of "Cyborg Babies: From Techno-Sex to Techno-Tots" (1997). Carolyn F. Sargent, Professor of Anthropology and Director of Women's Studies at Southern Methodist University, is author of "Maternity, Medicine, and Power: Reproductive Decisions in Urban Benin" (California, 1989) and coeditor of "Medical Anthropology: Contemporary Theory and Method" (1996).