Wings of Gauze: Women of Color and the Experience of Health and Illness / Edition 1

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Overview

Wings of Gauze is an anthology on health and illness as experienced by women of color in the United States. Written by community activists, health professionals, and scholars in the social sciences and humanities, the essays address the interconnections of psychological and physical health; ideas of traditional medicine among various minority groups; historical perspectives of culture as a factor in medicine; breast cancer; and health issues affected by federal and institutional policy: rape and domestic violence, reproductive rights, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted disease. Women of color, who make up a large number of the nation's poor, disproportionately face the pressing problems and consequences of infant mortality and poor pediatric care, drug and alcohol abuse, chronic disease, psychological stress, physical endangerment and homicide, and the likelihood that they will die at a younger age than whites. Minority women are also less likely to have personal physicians, to have quality health insurance coverage, or to be treated with respect and understanding in negotiating with health care institutions. However, many have as resources belief systems and traditions of caretaking, expertise, and mutual understanding that broaden dominant ways of perceiving well- or ill-being in the world. Thus their stories are about both oppression and empowerment, victimization as well as the strength to reshape and redefine. The emphasis in this collection is on changing perception, giving voice, and addressing the issues of racial discrimination. There is also discussion of solutions: ways to personal empowerment and better health; ways of changing outreach to more equitably instill the benefits of preventive education; ways of altering the structures of care offered through health institutions; and ways to think about self-help. With some notable exception's, recent feminist scholarship about women's health and the history of health care has focused primarily on
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An anthology on health and illness as experienced by women of color in the US. Written by community activists, health professionals, and scholars in the social sciences and humanities, the essays address the interconnections of psychological and physical health; ideas of traditional medicine among various minority groups; historical perspectives of culture as a factor in medicine; breast cancer; and health issues affected by federal and institutional policy--rape and domestic violence, reproductive rights, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted disease. Paper edition (2302-2), $19.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814323021
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Bair, Ph.D., is a Fellow of the Virginia Center for the Humanities, Charlottesville, and was for many years an Associate of the James B. Coleman African Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has taught interdisciplinary courses in American literature, women and health, and American cultural and social history.

Susan E. Cayleff, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University. She teaches women’s history from a multi-cultural perspective, women and health, women’s sexualiyy, and women and sports.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 9
Preface 11
Introduction 13
1 Coping and Caretaking: Rethinking the Boundaries of Physical/Psychological Health
My Guardian Spirits 23
Cracking the Skull, Mending the Soul: Sonia Sanchez's Role as Teacher/Healer/Poet 26
Madame Neau: The Practice of Ethno-Psychiatry in Rural Louisiana 41
Perceptions of Discrimination, Psycho-social Functioning and Physical Symptoms of African-American Women 53
Older Women of the Project: The Socio-medical Consequences of Urban Change 68
Cognitive Coping Strategies among the Mothers of Children with Sickle Cell Disease 79
2 Traditional Medicine and Holistic Concepts of Health: Questions of Culture and Politics
Health Care Decision Making among Cambodian Refugee Women 93
Mind and Body: Revising Approaches to the Analysis of Curanderismo 109
Images of Health: Perceptions of Urban American-Indian Women 122
Visiting the Women and Neighborhood of My Past 130
3 Historical Perspectives and the Provision of Care: Questions of Empowerment and Social Control
Mary Petersen: A Life of Healing and Renewal 148
Homesickness, Illness and Death: Native-American Girls in Government Boarding Schools 169
Managing on Their Own: Ailing Black Women in Philadelphia and Charleston, 1870 to 1918 180
Empowered Caretakers: A Historical Perspective on the Roles of Granny Midwives in Rural Alabama 191
Childbirth, Lay Institution Building, and Health Policy: The Traditional Childbearing Group, Inc., of Boston in a Historical Context 202
Nutrition, Breastfeeding, and Ethnicity: Understanding Maternal and Child Health Beliefs among New-Wave Immigrants 226
4 Breast Cancer: Images of Self
Breast Cancer, Breast Self-Examination, and African-American Women 244
Resignation and Resourcefulness: Older Hispanic Women's Responses to Breast Cancer 257
Cancer in the Family 273
5 Community Action and Public Health Policy
Battered Women of Color in Public Health Care Systems: Racism, Sexism, and Violence 288
Barriers to Birth Control Use among Hispanic Teenagers: Providers' Perspectives 300
Living with the Threat of AIDS: Perceptions of Health and Risk among African-American Women IV Drug Users 312
Poverty, Drug Use, and AIDS: Converging Issues in the Life Stories of Women in Harlem 328
Latinas and HIV Infection/AIDS: Reflections on Impacts, Dilemmas, and Struggles 340
The Use of Women's Culture in AIDS Outreach 353
Notes on Contributors 364
About the Editors 372
Some Further Sources 374
Index 383
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