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Social and Emotional Contexts of Weaning among Bofi Farmers and Foragers
Hillary N. Fouts
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Winter, 2004), pp. 65-81
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3773856
Page Count: 17
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Weaning, Children, Farmers, Breastfeeding, Child psychology, Mothers, Ethnology, Child abandonment, Agroecology, Grandmothers
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Weaning is a topic of much theoretical interest in anthropology, psychology, and public health. Several specific images about weaning are ubiquitous throughout the scholarly literature, but these are inadequate for describing the full spectrum of social and emotional factors involved in weaning. The images are evaluated in the context of comparative data collected among the Bofi farmers and foragers. While most studies of weaning have focused on health issues, this analysis identifies social and emotional factors related to caregiving practices, children's responses to weaning, and social transitions that accompany weaning. The Bofi farmers and foragers provide an interesting comparison of weaning because, although they live in the same natural ecology and speak the same language, they have distinct patterns of child-rearing and weaning. The comparison of Bofi weaning practices leads to a discussion of weaning patterns among other farmers and foragers and weaning patterns predicted by region and subsistence.