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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mother's Milk, an Ambiguous Blessing in the Era of AIDS: The Case of the Chagga in Kilimanjaro
Author:Moland, Karen MarieISNI
Periodical:African Sociological Review (ISSN 1027-4332)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Tanzania
East Africa
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Cultural Roles
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Women and Their Children
Medicine, Nutrition, Public Health
AIDS (Disease)
Traditional culture
Disease transmission
Maternal and child health
Chaga (African people)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24487417
Abstract:HIV/AIDS has renewed the need for a critical interpretation of breastfeeding in social and cultural terms. This study addresses the issue of how medically informed knowledge of HIV transmission through breastfeeding is interpreted and transformed in a local rural community (the Chagga people) in Kilimanjaro Region in northern Tanzania. The paper explores the articulation between a medical discourse on risk and a local discourse on motherhood which informs the choice of infant feeding method. It discusses the complexities involved in making an appropriate decision on breastfeeding, and argues that breastfeeding must be understood as closely tied to the cultural elaboration of the female body and of motherhood. It shows that the body of the mother and the body of the newborn child are subject to close scrutiny and local diagnostic processes. Not breastfeeding is not only perceived as a significant failure of motherhood, but also raises suspicion of a likely HIV positive status on the part of the mother. The paper is based on fieldwork carried out in 1997-1998 and follow-up visits from 1999 to 2003. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]