Death without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil

Death without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil

Paperback Centennial Book

By (author) Nancy Scheper-Hughes

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 632 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 43mm | 930g
  • Publication date: 9 November 1993
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520075374
  • ISBN 13: 9780520075375
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.
  • Illustrations note: 65 b&w photographs
  • Sales rank: 123,527

Product description

When lives are dominated by hunger, what becomes of love? When assaulted by daily acts of violence and untimely death, what happens to trust? Set in the lands of Northeast Brazil, this is an account of the everyday experience of scarcity, sickness and death that centres on the lives of the women and children of a hillside "favela". Bringing her readers to the impoverished slopes above the modern plantation town of Bom Jesus de Mata, where she has worked on and off for 25 years, Nancy Scheper-Hughes follows three generations of shantytown women as they struggle to survive through hard work, cunning and triage. It is a story of class relations told at the most basic level of bodies, emotions, desires and needs. Most disturbing - and controversial - is her finding that mother love, as conventionally understood, is something of a bourgeois myth, a luxury for those who can reasonably expect, as these women cannot, that their infants will live.

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Author information

Nancy Scheper-Hughes is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her book Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland (California, 1979) received the Margaret Mead Award in 1981. She is the winner of the 2000 J. I. Stanley Prize of the School of American Research.

Review quote

"Hauntingly beautiful. . . . [The] richly detailed qualitative analysis has thoroughly convinced this reader, at least, of her arguments linking maternal behavior and child death."--"American Anthropologist

Table of contents

Prologue: Sugar House Introduction: Tropical Sadness Chapter 1: O Nordeste: Sweetness and Death Chapter 2: Bom Jesus: One Hundred Years Without Water Chapter 3: Reciprocity and Dependency: The Double Ethic of Bom Jesus Chapter 4: Delirio de Fome: The Madness of Hunger Chapter 5: Nervoso: Medicine, Sickness, and Human Needs Chapter 6: Everday Violence: Bodies, Death, and Silence Chapter 7: Two Feet Under and a Cardboard Coffin: The Social Production of Indifference to Child Death Chapter 8: (M)Other Love: Cultue, Scarcity, and Maternal Thinking Chapter 9: Our Lady of Sorrows: A Political Economy of the Emotions Chapter 10: A Knack for Life: The Everyday Tactics of Survival Chapter 11: Carnaval: The Dance Against Death Chapter 12: De Profundis: Out of the Depths Epilogue: Acknowledgments and Then Some Notes Glossary Bibliography Index