Breastfeeding as the New Cultural Taboo

Ignjatović, Suzana and Buturović, Željka and Hristić, Ljubomir (2015) Breastfeeding as the New Cultural Taboo. Anthropological Notebooks, 20 (1). pp. 135-144. ISSN 1408 - 032X

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In this essay, two books about the current debate on breastfeeding are discussed. Is Breast Best? presents one of the rare voices that have challenged the current breastfeeding orthodoxy, which contends that breastfeeding is a superior form of infant feeding and assumes that virtually all properly informed mothers want to and should breastfeed their children. In contrast, Tomori’s book represents this mainstream position and contains much explicit advocacy for systemic changes in support of breastfeeding. Tomori criticises Wolf and other feminist authors who are against breastfeeding advocacy (Tomori 2015: 83). Tomori is a modern Marxist, while Wolf draws on a modification of Beck’s “risk society” paradigm. Wolf’s approach is more theoretical, while Tomori’s work is a classic ethnography based on fieldwork. Comparison of these different approaches provides insight into macro-level academic debates and micro-level dilemmas of everyday life. Both authors focus on the American context of breastfeeding. However, they are relevant beyond American borders because the US serves as a kind of a global trend-setter and a principal promoter of breastfeeding, along with international organisations who put pressure on women worldwide to breastfeed.

Item Type: Article
Institutional centre: Centre for political research and public opinion
Centre for sociological research and anthropological research
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 26 May 2022 18:17
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2023 08:56

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