This Anthropological Study Conducted By Nancy Scheper-Hughes

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This anthropological study conducted by Nancy Scheper-Hughes depicts the difficult lives of women and their newborns in Alto Do Cruzeiro; a small shantytown in Bom Jesus, Brazil. The problem outlined by the author is the high mortality rate of newborns and their affect on the mothers and the entire social construct. The author indicates a few factors and underlying influences that contribute to this problem, such as: poverty, access to clean drinking water, church, medical, government and economic exploitation. As a result, mothers have developed no sense of feeling when the death of their child has occurred. The mortality rate is so high, roughly one million children in Brazil under the age of five die every year, and many women barely…show more content…
Doctors at the best have told mothers to obtain a health “tonic” and free vitamins at the municipal chambers. Deaths are so prevalent that registration for a child’s death is simple, quick and requires no documentation. From the registry office, the mayor will give them a voucher for a free baby coffin! One aspect, you may believe that would never change, but has, is the church. Bells are no longer chimed, and no baptisms or ceremonies are performed for dying children. The author states that how can an individual not acknowledge that the bells are ringing continuously, nevertheless the women of Alto have grown accustomed to the bells and do not pay any attention to it. By the time the author published her findings, political changes had been made in Brazil and consequently amelioration of health for the mothers and infants. Mothers have a new attitude so that they do not give up on offspring who in the past would have been deemed to die. Also they have fewer babies. They no longer have to suppress their feelings with festivals, dancing and believing it is a waste of their life to mourn the death of their children. However, there has been an increase of gangs and drug violence, which have become a major problem in the survival and the social lives of the people in Bom Jesus. Nancy Scheper-Hughes excellently presented how certain external forces can alter the perception of how an individual sees and feels about the world. My previous assumption about the world

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