Pregnant Children and Half-Dead Adults: Modern Living and the Quickening Life Cycle in Botswana

Julie Livingston

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper utilizes ethnography and oral history to examine local perspectives on one aspect of the health transition, the female life cycle, in postcolonial Botswana. Botswana has undergone a remarkably rapid epidemiologic transition in recent decades, and it thus provides a unique context within which local actors analyze the interaction between biological and sociocultural change. Improvements in the standard of living have resulted in both an earlier onset for puberty in girls and an increased incidence of stroke among older women, thus refashioning the female life course. Local analysis and commentary on the shifting norms of women's bodies read this phenomenon alongside broader historical transformations. In the process they complicate basic assumptions in international health about the meanings of health and development.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)133-162+233
    JournalBulletin of the History of Medicine
    Volume77
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • Africa
    • Botswana
    • Development
    • Ethnography
    • Health transition
    • International health
    • Life cycle

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nursing(all)
    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • History

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