Spock Says What??
How Spock Child-Rearing Advice Would Differ Throughout The World
6, 2001-- American parents for decades have turned
to Dr. Benjamin Spock for child-rearing advice. But if the child-care
guru had been a healer from Bali or an Aboriginal grandmother from
Australia, that advice might well be different.
World of Babies, Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies"
takes such an inventive approach. Child-rearing "manuals"
in the book are written by Dr. Spock-like authority figures, such
as a grandmother, midwife, healer or diviner, whose advice is sought
after and respected in the countries profiled.
by Judy DeLoache, currently the Kenan Professor of Psychology at
the University of Virginia, and Alma Gottlieb, an anthropology professor
at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the book offers
sometimes startling descriptions of parenting practices outside
the western frame of reference.
child-care guides, for example, reveal that:
Nigerian mothers place a small knife by a sleeping babys
head to keep it safe;
in Bali are not supposed to touch the ground for seven months;
Coast mothers believe that jewelry protects children from illness.
of the seven child-care guides offers advice to prospective and
new parents. They also include a biography of the fictional Dr.
Spock-like figure and descriptions of the culture he or she lives
by Cambridge University Press, the book is an outgrowth of a seminar
on cross-cultural views of infancy that Gottlieb and DeLoache taught
together when DeLoache was a psychology professor at the University
of Illnois, Urbana-Champaign.
we offer in the book is a set of imagined infant-care manuals
that use fictional techniques to make nonfictional points,"
the authors write. They believe such an approach helps readers realize
that despite current trends toward globalization, child-rearing
practices can differ radically throughout the world.
Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857