(Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa) [PDF READ] ´ Katherine A. Dettwyler

  • Paperback
  • 172
  • Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa
  • Katherine A. Dettwyler
  • English
  • 07 November 2018
  • 9780881337488

Katherine A. Dettwyler ✓ 1 DOWNLOAD

DOWNLOAD Ê Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa 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 author's experiences conducting researc. An assignment for my medical anthropology class this book infuriated me on so many levels that I feel compelled to write a pretty lengthy review on it First and foremost my major complaint about this book is that throughout reading it I could not figure out what the point of the book was is it an ethnography An autobiography A how to guide for surviving fieldwork A treatise on the importance of nutrition A work of fiction I know it s not but I ll get to why I ask that later The schizophrenic nature of the writing left me shaking my head and throwing my hands up in frustration as I read further and further into it Once I thought I had it figured out she d changed personalities again I realize that she was writing for an undergraduate audience with the hopes of inspiring them to further explore the world of anthropology so she likely did not wish to weigh down the book with heavy amounts of data and academic discourse But But But She IS an academician and this book IS written for academic purposes so I expect the book to discuss things at a higher level not the dumbed down and pointless version she published especially if I m reuired to read this book for an academic classAs a student of anthropology I m being taught to remove my cultural biases when encountering new and different cultural values norms and s than my own I m being taught to try and take a non ethnocentric view on others It s a difficult task because no one can truly remove themselves entirely from the culture in which they were raised it s just not humanly possible But you do the best you can to keep your eyes and your mind open to view practices in their own cultural context This is called cultural relativism and as a student I am taking this to heart The fact that Dettwyler a trained educated practicing and teaching anthropologist has written a book in which she freely writes her negative views and opinions on the Malian people some of them so ethnocentric it s astounding and doesn t apologize for her inability to separate her beliefs from her profession shocks and appalls me Even as a student I see the anthropological crime in her words and the actions she writes of and I m left with the bitter taste of hypocrisy in my mouthAs someone who used to make a living writing professionally I am dismayed and disappointed at several cardinal rules of writing being broken throughout the book the most disturbing one being the use of whole dialogues between the author and several other characters in her book I call them characters because that is exactly what whole bits of dialogue written like this conjure up The conversations are written as if the author transcribed them word for word during their discourse which is highly unlikely So I am left wondering is this really what was said Is Dettwyler portraying these people s words and the situations accurately as they happened Or is she shaping the conversations in a way that suits the point she is trying to make or to elevate the story just a bit And that makes me wonder just how REAL her story is is this a work of fiction or non fictionThere are several other complaints and issues I have with Dancing Skeletons but then I fear my opinion of her book might end up being as long as the book itself So to end this on a positive note I will say that if I were to find one positive aspect of the book I would say that it s an excellent tool for teaching anthropology students what NOT to do as they further their studies in the field Happy Christmas Hammy the Wonder Hamster know it s not but I ll get to why I ask that later The schizophrenic nature of the writing left me shaking my head and throwing my hands up in frustration as I read further and further into it Once I thought I had it figured out she d changed personalities again I realize that she was writing for an undergraduate audience with the hopes of inspiring them to further explore the world of anthropology so she likely did not wish to weigh down the book with heavy amounts of data and academic discourse But But But She IS an academician and this book IS written for academic purposes so I expect the book to discuss things at a higher level not the dumbed down and pointless version she published especially if I m reuired to read this book for an academic classAs a student of anthropology I m being taught to remove my cultural biases when encountering new and different cultural values norms and s than my own I m being taught to try and take a non ethnocentric view on others It s a difficult task because no one can truly remove themselves entirely from the culture in which they were raised it s just not humanly possible But you do the best you can to Good Blonde Others keep your eyes and your mind open to view practices in their own cultural context This is called cultural relativism and as a student I am taking this to heart The fact that Dettwyler a trained educated practicing and teaching anthropologist has written a book in which she freely writes her negative views and opinions on the Malian people some of them so ethnocentric it s astounding and doesn t apologize for her inability to separate her beliefs from her profession shocks and appalls me Even as a student I see the anthropological crime in her words and the actions she writes of and I m left with the bitter taste of hypocrisy in my mouthAs someone who used to make a living writing professionally I am dismayed and disappointed at several cardinal rules of writing being broken throughout the book the most disturbing one being the use of whole dialogues between the author and several other characters in her book I call them characters because that is exactly what whole bits of dialogue written like this conjure up The conversations are written as if the author transcribed them word for word during their discourse which is highly unlikely So I am left wondering is this really what was said Is Dettwyler portraying these people s words and the situations accurately as they happened Or is she shaping the conversations in a way that suits the point she is trying to make or to elevate the story just a bit And that makes me wonder just how REAL her story is is this a work of fiction or non fictionThere are several other complaints and issues I have with Dancing Skeletons but then I fear my opinion of her book might end up being as long as the book itself So to end this on a positive note I will say that if I were to find one positive aspect of the book I would say that it s an excellent tool for teaching anthropology students what NOT to do as they further their studies in the field

READ Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West AfricaDancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa

DOWNLOAD Ê Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa Work and facing emotionally draining realities Readers will laugh and cry as they meet the author's 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. Absolutely terrible I gave it one star for her occasional rants on the benefits of breast feeding and vaginal as opposed to elective c section births Aside from the utterly rude and patronizing manner in which she describes her subjects what I found most troubling was the blatant omission of any mention of the history of french colonialism within Mali as a possible contributing factor to malnourishment The idea that the mothers just need to be educated about how to feed their children is not only complete bullshit but also recalls the days of anthropology as an outgrowth of the white man s burden About as vapid and useful as Jared Diamond s excrescences concerning economic collapse through ignorance

SUMMARY Æ DATVANG.CO ✓ Katherine A. Dettwyler

DOWNLOAD Ê Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa H on infant feeding and health in MaliThrough 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 women's roles in patrilineal societies the dangers of field. This book was on my reading list for the Cultural Anthropology course I took this past semesterWhile Dancing Skeletons provided interesting meat for discussion in class I was decidedly not fond of the bookDettwyler starts out her book with lots of complaining and whining and seems to be begging the reader to have sympathy for her or to pity her If you manage to get past the first few chapters of this which is difficult but possible then it definitely becomes interestingIt was an interesting look into the life in and the culture of Mali However Dettwyler who is supposed to be a professional anthropologist expresses a shocking amount of ethnocentric views and seems to view herself as superior to the people she s serving and studying Additionally she has mountains of conversation that is put between uotes which implies that she has written word for word precisely what was said I am skeptical of this as she never mentions having a recorder with her or transcribing as she talks with the people Sohow does she remember precisely what was said Does she take her memories and impressions from the conversation and transcribe them into conversations I am unconvinced and took all of what she said with a grain of salt I walked away from this book with the impression that Dettwyler thoughtthinks she is the bees kness and that she was some sort of savior for the people of Mali I really was unimpressedTwo stars because of the excellent discussions that surrounded this book during class time A Big Sky Christmas kness and that she was some sort of savior for the people of Mali I really was unimpressedTwo stars because of the excellent discussions that surrounded this book during class time