How Ngoma Works

John M. Janzen

in Ngoma

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1992 | ISBN: 9780520072657
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520910850 | DOI:
How Ngoma Works

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This chapter describes the social and demographic perspectives and consequences on how ngoma works. It specifically investigates the consequences of ngoma upon the “social reproduction” of health. The concept of social reproduction provides a model of how therapeutic rituals such as ngoma might prove efficacious in enhancing health. Examples of the social reproduction of health are the reported. Social reproduction theory, as put forward by Meillassoux, Pierre Bourdieu, Cohn Murray, and Frankel offers tools for a more rigorous analysis of the manner in which society itself structures the resources of health. Ngoma structured care and isolation from the stresses of household duty appear to make a difference in survival of at-risk pregnancies.

Keywords: ngoma; social reproduction; health; therapeutic rituals; Meillassoux; Pierre Bourdieu; Cohn Murray; Frankel

Chapter.  7838 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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