volume 24, issue 10, P2239-2248 2008
DOI: 10.1590/s0102-311x2008001000005
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Abstract: This study investigates bereaved mothers' ethnoetiologies of avoidable infant deaths in Northeast Brazil. It critically examines the anthropological debate concerning "selective maternal negligence" as a relevant explanation for high infant mortality, based on an analysis of preexisting data. From 2003 to 2006, 316 ethnographic interviews collected by the author from 1979 to 1989 in six communities in Ceará State were retrieved. Forty-five narratives of fatal illness and death of 56 children < 5 years of ag…

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