If Dr. Spock were burn in Bali: Raising a world of babies

Judy S. DeLoache, Alma Gottlieb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Do babies have the devil in theme or are they divine?. Should parents talk to their infants, or is it a waste of time?. Do babies need a daily bath – or two or three daily baths? In this book, you will find answers to these and many other questions about infants and how to care for them. In fact, you'll find several different answers to each one. Most of these answers will be quite different from what the majority of contemporary middle-class North Americans or Europeans would say. Here are some examples of the contrasting views you will encounter in these pages. To the Puritans in seventeenth-century America, infants were born in sin and in need of strict direction by their parents to help them resist the temptations of the devil. To the residents of Bali, however, babies are reincarnated ancestors and gods. Everyone including their own parents, must treat infants with the respect and deference due a deity, which includes addressing them with honorific titles otherwise reserved few individuals of the highest rank. Writers of Western child care manuals stress the great importance of talking to infants to foster language development The Beng of West A World of Babies Africa also talk to their babies, but they do so because they believe young infants can understand all the languages of the world. In contrast, many other group, including inhabitants of Ifaluk, a tiny Micronesian atoll, think that babies cannot understand any thing that's said to them, so there's no point in speaking to them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA World of Babies
Subtitle of host publicationImagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780511818004
ISBN (Print)9780521662642
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'If Dr. Spock were burn in Bali: Raising a world of babies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this