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Healing EEs/EHEs/Healing Process
Record Type: Review   ID: 537

Women as Healers: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

McClain, Carol Shepherd (Ed.)

 The 12 essays in this collection (all but one published here for the first time) "ask how recent conceptual schemes in feminist anthropology inform studies of the domain of healing and, reciprocally, how the ethnography of healing either supports or refutes those schemes" (p. 2). The editor's "Reinterpreting Women in Healing Roles" sets the stage and discusses the symbolic roles of women. Part One consists of two chapters on women as anonymous informal healers and the third discusses why women are reluctant to take on healing roles in public. Part Two, "Healing with Female Metaphors," consists of three chapters describing the practice of "balm" in Jamaica, the role of the Christian Science practitioner, and Serbian word magic. In Part Three, three chapters present life histories of women who specialize in ritual: a Puerto Rican espiritista, a Korean manshin or shaman, and a xhosa woman apprentice to a diviner-medium. In Part Four, the two final chapters are on cultural change and women healers as illustrated by women healers in the People's Republic of Benin, West Africa, and a case study of an American lay midwife.
Publisher Information:New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1989. 274p. Bibl: 259-267; Index: 269-274; 3 tables
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