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Death Without Weeping

The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil

Nancy Scheper-Hughes (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 632 pages
ISBN: 9780520075375
November 1993
$38.95, £30.00
When lives are dominated by hunger, what becomes of love? When assaulted by daily acts of violence and untimely death, what happens to trust? Set in the lands of Northeast Brazil, this is an account of the everyday experience of scarcity, sickness and death that centres on the lives of the women and children of a hillside "favela". Bringing her readers to the impoverished slopes above the modern plantation town of Bom Jesus de Mata, where she has worked on and off for 25 years, Nancy Scheper-Hughes follows three generations of shantytown women as they struggle to survive through hard work, cunning and triage. It is a story of class relations told at the most basic level of bodies, emotions, desires and needs. Most disturbing - and controversial - is her finding that mother love, as conventionally understood, is something of a bourgeois myth, a luxury for those who can reasonably expect, as these women cannot, that their infants will live.
Prologue: Sugar House
Introduction: Tropical Sadness
Chapter 1: O Nordeste: Sweetness and Death
Chapter 2: Bom Jesus: One Hundred Years Without Water
Chapter 3: Reciprocity and Dependency: The Double Ethic of Bom Jesus
Chapter 4: DelĂ­rio de Fome: The Madness of Hunger
Chapter 5: Nervoso: Medicine, Sickness, and Human Needs
Chapter 6: Everday Violence: Bodies, Death, and Silence
Chapter 7: Two Feet Under and a Cardboard Coffin: The Social Production of Indifference to Child Death
Chapter 8: (M)Other Love: Cultue, Scarcity, and Maternal Thinking
Chapter 9: Our Lady of Sorrows: A Political Economy of the Emotions
Chapter 10: A Knack for Life: The Everyday Tactics of Survival
Chapter 11: Carnaval: The Dance Against Death
Chapter 12: De Profundis: Out of the Depths
Epilogue: Acknowledgments and Then Some
Nancy Scheper-Hughes is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her book Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland (California, 1979) received the Margaret Mead Award in 1981. She is the winner of the 2000 J. I. Stanley Prize of the School of American Research.

J.I. Staley Prize 2000, School of American Research

Wellcome Medal for Anthropology as applied to medical problems 1994, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britian and Ireland

Bryce Wood Book Award, Latin American Studies Association

First prize for the Best Book in the 1992, Harry Chapin Media

Finalist in the general non-fiction category given by the National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Critics Circle Award

1992 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize, Society for Medical Anthropology

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