Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Gone to deliver lions : birth and social change in a Tanzanian village
Author: Payton, Valerie Roskell
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
In 1974, Tanzania experienced a massive villagisation programme, unprecedented on the African continent. This study is about some of the specific ways in which the lives of people, especially women, have been affected by this experience. Taking as its primary focus the activities, decision making and ideas informing the events surrounding birth in the village of Fulwe, it opens out to consider issues concerning the relationship between experience, knowledge and power. Particular emphasis is placed on recognising the fieldwork encounter as the locus for ethnographic production. The question of the role of the traditional midwife as an agent of change is identified as an important reason for the initial creation of the project. However fieldwork experiences suggested the need for further exploration of gender, age and kinship relationships, all of which find expression in the idiom of birth, when considered as a cultural construction. Senior women gain a sense of identity and power from their practice of ritual preparation of the female initiand and the guidance to delivery of their younger kinswomen. Influences, such as formal school education and the choice of hospital delivery, are contentious issues which threaten the traditional routes to power for older women. In contrast to government controlled formal education, knowledge within the traditional paradigm is embodied, and conditional upon practice and actual experience. Using Bourdieu's idea of symbolic capital, I examine how some midwives attempt to harness the power implicit in hospital practices, for their own interests. In Fulwe, it is not possible to define a single gender ideology. Nor is it possible to discuss the unique status of women. The textual analysis of fertility and birthing activities alone, reveals several, sometimes contradictory, ideological views. These inform the self images of women at different stages of their lives, and give shape to their relationships with other women and men.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available