Pdf Kindle Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa
NO SPOILERSIgnore that ugly blue cover Dancing Skeletons offers a fascinating peek into one anthropologist s extensive work in West Africa The stories are detailed intimate educational and most of all riveting DETTWYLER SOMEHOW MANAGED TO MAKE ANTHROPOLOGY somehow managed to make anthropology to all from those who can t get enough of the subject to those who couldn t care less Perhaps
this is because Dancing Skeletons is a deeply human book these are not merely tribal others This author hammered is because Dancing Skeletons is a deeply human book these are not merely tribal others This author hammered how no matter where we are in this world and no matter our circumstances at our core we re the same Extremely boring but even worse it s completely lacking in compassion The author and her daughter are clearly the most important people in the universe according to what I got out of the book Be prepared to read about mentally disabled people getting yelled at and disabled ids getting mean nicknames I read this book as an assignment for my cultural anthropology class Some of the students in my class had raved about itso I was pretty excited to read it Well I ended up hating it The author did a very poor job of writing this book Most of the book was Dettwyler whining and complaining There are a few interesting parts of the story but I felt overall it was a waste of time A combination memoir and anthropological study The author spent several years in the West African nation of Mali researching malnutrition in infants and toddlers She came to the conclusion that the problem is not so much inadeuate food as inadeuate education about food the children were being fed but they weren t getting a balanced diet and the adults believed good food like meat for example was wasted on a child and was better off eaten by those who had worked to produce it I don t now much about Africa and its myriad of problems but Dr Dettwyler s idea about nutrition education seems very sensible She did her study back in the eighties though I wonder if the food situation in Mali in terms of what s available has changed in the twenty years sinceThe author truly loved the Malian people and spoke about them with a lot of affection telling funny stories about them as well as about her own misadventures There s also a very tense poignant chapter where she talks about how her daughter nearly died of drug resistant malariaDefinitely a win especially for anthropologists of course and those interested in the problems associated with Africa 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 *seems to view herself as superior to the people she s serving and studying Additionally she has mountains 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 transcrib. 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. Understanding the practice which ruffles my metaphorical feathers You should not joke or ridicule anything that you do not yet understand The moment that conversation was over her integrity as an anthropologist diminished in my mind s eyeWhile Dettwyler does indeed try to eep her emic and etic views separate while conversing with the persons she encounters she constantly switches between the two No anthropologist is perfect obviously but when you re already submerged in the culture and pride yourself on the nowledge you ve obtained from this culture the emic view *Should Never Become Condescending As *never become condescending as becomes very obvious that it is the etic view that consumes your thoughts More obvious that it is the etic view that consumes your thoughts More Dettwyler s participant observations in Magnambougou are a prime example Through her thoughts and comments outside of the conversation taking place she becomes obviously frustrated with interviewing residents about ideas of what to do with money She believes her uestions are structured when in fact they are uite the opposite Her unwillingness to adapt to the cultural differences in Mali versus the United States made the interviewing process and the answers received practically invalid since she resorted to asking leading uestions expecting certain types of answers instead of having an open mind and ears Another example of the stark contrast in ways of thinking was how Dettwyler simply couldn t understand why women didn t now that proper nutrition was the Audiology key to most of their problems Her assumptions that they would have thenowledge of proper nutrition both for adults and children was brash and she seemed to poke fun at their naivety within her own comments in the book Her disregard to the differences in what s important in other cultures was appalling After students learn and understand holism cultural relativism is next on the list but it appears these two concepts were misinterpreted by Dettwyler as it surely is reflected in this book Like all anthropologist Dettwyler originally set out to make a difference in the lives of people across the world though directly the people of Magnambougou Dancing Skeletons shows her obvious determination and desire to help those that cannot be helped but her methods did not reflect her thoughts Pity and despair were constantly in her mind which was expected yes but superfluous in anthropological research It is folly to have expected Dettwyler to dehumanize herself while in Africa but due to her raw emotions dripping from every single page of her book it was hard to take the story seriously regardless of the benefits she s offered to the Magnambougoun and other impoverished communities Had her research been published as just that research instead of a story it Magnambougoun and other impoverished communities Had her research been published as just that research instead of a story it have been easily to digest As it stands I m shocked that something so overall trifling and emotionally biased would be given the Margaret Mead Award 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 f can the author complain a little i was so annoyed the whole time i was reading this book and the only reason why i read the whole thing is because my professor assigned it and put uestions on the test the funny thing is my anthropology professor did not care for the book either glad i got it for 2 would not have spent any than that. 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.
review Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa
E 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 ness 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 Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa is an amazing ethnography that covers many aspects of life in Western Africa The detailed account of the relationships the author has with everyone from children and their parents to complete strangers in the street provides a very easy read while also giving the reader an excellent and in depth look at the everyday life of the people in this third world country Through multiple different methods of information gathering she is able to touch the lives of people who suffer from disease and illness Showcasing the variety of life and lifestyles in the nation of Mali with a concentration on child nutrition and development is the core value of this book With plenty of emotional drama tied into it whether it be Kathy s own personal struggles or those of the people she is conducting research on gives this book a sense of intimacy that is lacking in normal ethnography s which 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 *know it s not
But I Get To WhyI get to why 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 had to write a paper based on certain aspects of this book but instead turned it into an old fashion book reportUpon being assigned Dancing Skeletons Life and Death in West Africa by Katherine A Dettwyler I was thrilled to read an anthropologist s first hand view of field work as well as being given the chance to discover real life in Africa that is so creatively hidden in mass media However upon finishing the book I was sorely disappointed and repeatedly flipped the book over to reread the synopsis and practical praise for the book The story described on the back of the book was what was inside naturally but how I felt about the book and Dettwyler s experiences were completely different Every anthropologist nows the idea of holism and how important it is to be aware of it in every aspect of life regardless of personal biases in foreign territory While Dettwyler discussed the importance of holism throughout her book she didn t follow it nor did she fight against ethnocentrism In fact she was constantly falling into her white American mindset shedding the formal anthropological robes she should have been wearing Disguised in boorish laughter she mocked her friends on obvious cultural differences It is widely nown that there are cultures around the world that practice clitoridectomy and yet after having spent months and years with such cultures she still laughs of the idea and natives shock that she had not undergone the procedure Laughing to make light of a situation is common however she made no comments in her book on actually. 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.