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“Kissing a Baby Is Not at All Good for Him”: Infant Mortality, Medicine, and Colonial Modernity in the U.S.‐Occupied Philippines

Published on Jun 1, 2005in American Anthropologist2.71
· DOI :10.1525/aa.2005.107.2.183
Bonnie McElhinny12
Estimated H-index: 12
(U of T: University of Toronto)
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Abstract
Feminist scholars have begun to consider the ways indigenous practices of child rearing were and are challenged in (post)colonial discourse and practice, and how these practices have become a terrain on which definitions of nation, state, and economy are contested. In this article, I adopt a historical anthropological approach to consider how Filipino child-rearing strategies were described and stigmatized in educational, public health, and public welfare discourses in the U.S.-occupied Philippines in the early 20th century. I demonstrate how public health practices and discourses that were generated as part of a “benevolent” campaign against high rates of infant mortality were strategically used as a weapon against Filipino arguments for independence. I also consider how discourses constructing Filipino caregivers as overly indulgent were linked to metropolitan concerns about production of the “new industrial man” and were used to develop a racialized critique of the cultural practices of Filipinos.
  • References (25)
  • Citations (20)
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References25
Newest
Published on Jan 1, 2003
Charles L. Briggs24
Estimated H-index: 24
List of Illustrations Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: Death in the Delta 1. Preparing for a Bacterial Invasion: Cholera Control in Venezuela 2. Courtship of an Epidemic: Preparing for Cholera in Delta Amacuro 3. Stories of an Epidemic Foretold: Cholera Reaches Mariusa 4. Fighting Death in a Regional Clinic: Cholera Arrives in Pedernales 5. Turning Chaos into Control: Initial Responses by Regional Institutions 6. Containing an Indigenous Invasion: Quarantine in Barrancas 7. Exile and Intern...
Published on Jun 7, 2002
Brian Keith Axel2
Estimated H-index: 2
Historical anthropology: critical exchange between two decidedly distinct disciplines or innovative mode of knowledge production? As this volume’s title suggests, the essays Brian Keith Axel has gathered in From the Margins seek to challenge the limits of discrete disciplinary epistemologies and conventions, gesturing instead toward a transdisciplinary understanding of the emerging relations between archive and field. In original articles encompassing a wide range of geographic and temporal loca...
Published on Jan 1, 2002
Ann Laura Stoler23
Estimated H-index: 23
This landmark book tracks matters of intimacy to investigate matters of state in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Indonesia, particularly the critical role played by sexual arrangements and affective attachments in creating colonial categories and distinguishing the ruler from the ruled. Arguing that social classification is not a benign cultural act but a potent political one, Ann Laura Stoler's essays focus on parents and parenting, nursing mothers, servants, orphanages, and abandon...
Published on Dec 1, 2001in The Journal of American History0.73
Ann Laura Stoler23
Estimated H-index: 23
(UM: University of Michigan)
This essay takes as its subject two distinctive historiographies, one in postcolonial studies and the other in North American history, that both address how intimate domains-sex, sentiment, domestic arrangement, and child rearing-figure in the making of racial categories and in the management of imperial rule. It examines two prevailing trends: on the one hand, an analytic convergence in treatments of, and increasing attention to, intimacy in the making of empire; on the other, recognition of th...
Published on Jul 29, 2000
Vicente L. Rafael11
Estimated H-index: 11
In this wide-ranging cultural and political history of Filipinos and the Philippines, Vicente L. Rafael examines the period from the onset of U.S. colonialism in 1898 to the emergence of a Filipino diaspora in the 1990s. Self-consciously adopting the essay form as a method with which to disrupt epic conceptions of Filipino history, Rafael treats in a condensed and concise manner clusters of historical detail and reflections that do not easily fit into a larger whole. White Love and Other Events ...
Published on Oct 25, 1999in African Studies Review0.80
Nancy Rose Hunt6
Estimated H-index: 6
A Colonial Lexicon is the first historical investigation of how childbirth became medicalized in Africa. Rejecting the “colonial encounter” paradigm pervasive in current studies, Nancy Rose Hunt elegantly weaves together stories about autopsies and bicycles, obstetric surgery and male initiation, to reveal how concerns about strange new objects and procedures fashioned the hybrid social world of colonialism and its aftermath in Mobutu’s Zaire. Relying on archival research in England and Belgium,...
Published on Jan 1, 1999
Lisa Rofel11
Estimated H-index: 11
(UM: University of Manitoba)
In this analysis of three generations of women in a Chinese silk factory, Lisa Rofel brilliantly interweaves the intimate details of her observations with a broad-ranging critique of the meaning of modernity in a postmodern age. The author based her study at a silk factory in the city of Hangzhou in eastern China. She compares the lives of three generations of women workers: those who entered the factory right around the Communist revolution in 1949, those who were youths during the Cultural Rev...
Published on Jan 1, 1999
Linda M. Blum11
Estimated H-index: 11
A colleague of Linda Blum advised her against using the word breasts in her book about mothH erhood, breastfeeding, and how our notions of both are inextricably tied to ideologies of genH der, class, and race. While the comment could not have been made in all seriousness, when I read Blum's account of this conversation I couldn't help but feel the same way. Indeed, as I toted the book along with me over the course of several weeks, it was impossible to ignore the stares and questioning looks the...
Published on Jan 1, 1999in Labour/Le Travail0.20
Julia Grant1
Estimated H-index: 1
In this study of the education of American mothers, Julia Grant shows how the tides of opinion about proper child care have shifted from the early 1800s, when maternal associations discussed biblical and secular theories of child rearing, through the 1950s, when books like "Dr. Spock's Baby & Child Care" were widely consulted, to today's era of television advice-givers. As mothers have increasingly sought assistance in the complex enterprise of raising children, Grant finds, they have become dis...
Cited By20
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Published on Jun 11, 2018
Tim Brown24
Estimated H-index: 24
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Stephen Taylor6
Estimated H-index: 6
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S.M. Taylor2
Estimated H-index: 2
Published on Jan 1, 2018in Curriculum Inquiry0.98
Kathryn L. Kirchgasler1
Estimated H-index: 1
(KU: University of Kansas)
ABSTRACTThis article examines how notions of health and citizenship have become entangled in US science education reforms targeting particular populations. Current science education policy assumes that marginalized groups have been historically ignored, and that new research is required to “make diversity visible” in order to adapt instruction for those students. This article questions that premise, asking instead how key practices of US science education emerged in response to the fabricated pr...
Published on Jan 1, 2017
Yves Boquet3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Burgundy)
This chapter covers the twentieth century, when the Philippines were changed by the US colonization after a brutal war of conquest. Progress in education, medicine, urbanization and transportation was obvious, while the Americans fostered the development of a Filipino political class that was called to govern the country alongside American political ideals, as was hoped with the implementation of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1935 under president Quezon. The difficult years of the Japanese occu...
Published on Aug 1, 2014in Social Science & Medicine3.09
Erica Prussing5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UI: University of Iowa)
Abstract Preterm delivery (PTD), defined as delivery prior to 37 weeks gestation, is a key contributor to persistent racial disparities in infant mortality in the United States. Five major funding initiatives were devoted to advancing PTD epidemiology during the 1990s and 2000s. By examining content and rhetorical features of 94 studies conducted under these initiatives, and published between 1993 and 2011, this paper considers how calls for more “contextual” approaches (focusing on social and e...
Published on Jun 1, 2014in Transcultural Psychiatry1.56
Krista Maxwell2
Estimated H-index: 2
(U of T: University of Toronto)
The premise that “trauma” is transmitted across generations is central to the historical trauma discourse currently circulating in indigenous communities and professional networks in Canada. Historical trauma may be understood as the offspring of two older and apparently antithetical discourses: Native healing, and colonial professional critiques of indigenous family life. While the former has maintained a therapeutic focus on restoring intergenerational social relations, the latter has patholog...
Published on Sep 1, 2012in Medical Anthropology1.46
Holly Wardlow11
Estimated H-index: 11
(U of T: University of Toronto)
The globalization of standardized knowledge about HIV and AIDS depends in part on local AIDS awareness educators who receive training from national and international organizations and then, ideally, disseminate what they have learned. In this article I analyze textual and observational data from a five-day introductory AIDS awareness workshop in rural Papua New Guinea. Although the instructor adhered to the handbook provided by the National AIDS Council for much of the information, she departed ...
Published on Apr 1, 2011in Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology0.43
Lisa M. Mitchell9
Estimated H-index: 9
,
Marjorie Mitchell1
Estimated H-index: 1
In the Visayan Philippines, engkanto are a diverse category of spirits and supernatural entities. Children are seen as especially susceptible to contact with and harm from engkanto, yet their views on these spirits have not been researched. Based on conversations with and drawings by a group of children from an impoverished periurban community, we examine their anxieties, ideas about and experiences of engkanto. Previously conceptualised as relevant to children's lives only as an adult strategy ...
Published on Oct 21, 2010in Annual Review of Anthropology2.70
Bonnie McElhinny12
Estimated H-index: 12
(U of T: University of Toronto)
This review considers research on language and affect, with particular attention to gender, that has appeared in the past two decades in ways informed by the recent effloresence of work on affect in feminist, queer, (post)colonial, and critical race studies. The review is selective: It focuses on a few key ways that recent research is responding to gaps identified in earlier research and opening up promising areas for future research. This review thus attempts to connect linguistic anthropologic...