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Maternities and Modernities: Colonial and Postcolonial Experiences in Asia and the Pacific

Maternities and Modernities: Colonial and Postcolonial Experiences in Asia and the Pacific


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Feminist theories have focused on contemporary, Western, experiences of maternity. This volume shows that birthing and mothering can be a very different experience for women in other parts of the world. The contributors document a wide variety of conceptions of motherhood in Asia and the Pacific, revealing how the experience of motherhood has been influenced by missionaries, colonial policies, and the introduction of Western medicine and biomedical birthing methods. They raise important questions about the costs and benefits of becoming a modern mother in these societies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521584289
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/26/1998
Pages: 319
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.02(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: colonial and postcolonial plots in histories of maternities and modernities Margaret Jolly; 1. Shaping reproduction: maternity in early twentieth-century Malaya Lenore Manderson; 2. Modernizing the Malay mother Maila Stivens; 3. 'Good wives and mothers' or 'dedicated workers'? Contradictions of domesticity in the 'mission of sisterhood', Travancore, south India Jane Haggis; 4. Maternity and the story of enlightenment in the colonies: Tamil coastal women, south India Kalpana Ram; 5. The dai and the doctor: discourses on women's reproductive health in rural Bangladesh Santi Rozario; 6. Other mothers: maternal 'insouciance' and the depopulation debate in Fiji and Vanuatu, 1890–1930 Margaret Jolly; 7. Just add water: remaking women through childbirth, Anganen, Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea Leanne Merrett-Balkos; 8. From sisters to wives: changing contexts of maternity on Simbo, Western Solomon Islands Christine Dureau; Epilogue: maternal experience and feminist body politics: Asian and Pacific perspectives Kalpana Ram.

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