This personal account by a biocultural anthropologist illuminates not-soon-forgotten messages involving the sobering aspects of fieldwork among malnourished children in West Africa. With nutritional anthropology at its core, Dancing Skeletons presents informal, engaging, and oftentimes dramatic stories that relate the authors experiences conducting research on infant feeding and health in Mali. Through fascinating vignettes and honest, vivid descriptions, Dettwyler explores such diverse topics as ethnocentrism, culture shock, population control, breastfeeding, child care, the meaning of disability and child death in different cultures, female circumcision, womens roles in patrilineal societies, the dangers of fieldwork, and facing emotionally draining realities. Readers will laugh and cry as they meet the authors friends and informants, follow her through a series of encounters with both peri-urban and rural Bambara culture, and struggle with her as she attempts to reconcile her very different roles as objective ethnographer, subjective friend, and mother in the field. The 20th Anniversary Edition includes a 13-page QA with the Author in which Dettwyler responds to typical questions she has received individually from students who have been assigned Dancing Skeletons as well as audience questions at lectures on various campuses. The new 23-page Update on Mali, 2013 chapter is a factual update about economic and health conditions in Mali as well as a brief summary of the recent political unrest.
Additional ISBNs: 9781478607588, 1478607580, 9781478611356, 1478611359