By Erika Friedl
Within the village of Deh Koh in southwestern Iran, a existence course is set out for ladies and boys from their earliest days. whereas little in this bad rural group comes simply to young children of both intercourse, women truly undergo the better burden. neighborhood lore has it boy may be famous in his mother's womb as low as 20 days after perception, whereas a woman is still "a formless lump of meat" for 2 months. This skewed viewpoint keeps to form their fortunes in years to persist with. so much moms succumb to strain to wean their little one daughters greater than a yr ahead of their sons--a calamity in a global the place the breast deals succor and the key type of sustenance. ladies could be married off once they mature--as early as nine in accordance with spiritual edict--though there are fewer baby brides and baby moms as modernization tinkers with village traditions. considering 1992, the politics of overpopulation have made contraception a nationwide precedence, a sea swap embraced by means of many married ladies worn down through childbearing. "Only husbands and outdated girls wish us to have many children," says a mom of 8, "men simply because they do not know what a hassle it really is and outdated girls simply because they've got forgotten." Ethnographer Erika Friedl writes slightly judgmentally at the hardscrabble lives led in Deh Koh, but additionally with perception, verve, and authority. whereas spotlighting the kids, she illuminates the times in their mom and dad and opens the reader's biases for query, too. --Francesca Coltrera
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Extra info for Children of Deh Koh: Young Life in an Iranian Village
Pointing at them with emphasis, however, seems superfluous. Instead, I try to Page xviii provide as much context as possible to let the reader develop a feeling for how the key concepts are played out, as it were, for individual children, for boys and girls, for younger and older ones. The stories and anecdotes I selected from literally hundreds are meant not only to highlight different qualities of children's lives, as stories usually do, but to demonstrate how one or the other concept or cognition or assumption about children is phrased in words and actions.
A few women from my earlier book, Women of Deh Koh, appear in this book under the names given to them then, but not consistently so. Unfortunately, the demand for discretion makes it impossible to follow individual children over the years, or to paint particular children's personalities, or to locate one or the other child precisely in its relationships and in its stories. Some of the most telling anecdotes or circumstances had to be omited altogether because they would have identified particular people too clearly.
No matter how well intended these attempts might be, they nevertheless carry the danger of producing travelographies filled with trivialities and revelations about the researcher's personal life that add yet another layer of "text" without necessarily furthering insights into what moves the people with whom the researcher interacts in seemingly continuous soul-search mode. Ethnography no longer is driven just by the theoretical mode in which the writer is trained and by the ethnographer's skills as researcher and writerand this is just as wellbut by the quest for new insights on the postmodern plane on which everybody ought to have a "voice" and from where essentialist statements and categories ought to be banished.
Children of Deh Koh: Young Life in an Iranian Village by Erika Friedl