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Developing DestiniesA Mayan Midwife and Town$
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Barbara Rogoff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195319903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319903.001.0001

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Beginnings: stability and change

Beginnings: stability and change

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Beginnings: stability and change
Source:
Developing Destinies
Author(s):

Barbara Rogoff (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319903.003.0009

This introduction presents the idea of “destiny and development”—the paradox of stability with change in people's lives as well as in whole communities. It introduces Chona Pérez, a renowned Guatemalan Mayan midwife, who collaborates with Barbara Rogoff to recount her life and work and the changing ways of her town, especially Mayan practices related to birth, human development, socialization, and learning. The aim is to foster understanding of culture as well as to preserve Mayan wisdom for future generations. The book illuminates how we can think about culture's role in individual lives, and vice versa. The ideas are developed by examining how Chona's life and work are formed by prior generations across centuries—and across European and American empires—and at the same time individuals revise the cultural practices available to current and future generations.

Keywords:   culture, change and continuity, destiny, development, schooling, Mayan

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