When there is more than one answer key: Cultural theories of postpartum hemorrhage in Matlab, Bangladesh

Daniel J. Hruschka, Lynn M. Sibley, Nahid Kalim, Joyce K. Edmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals can acquire cultural knowledge from many sources, including personal experience, informal learning, and schooling. Identifying these distinct source models and describing personal variation in their use present ongoing theoretical and methodological challenges. Three questions are of particular importance: (1) how to determine if there is more than one cultural model, (2) how to characterize the differences between models, and (3) how to assess the degree to which individuals draw from these different models. This article addresses these questions by analyzing the theories endorsed by women and their maternal care providers about the causes, signs, and treatments of postpartum hemorrhage in rural Bangladesh. Two cultural models are identified, each associated with traditional birth attendants or professionally trained "skilled" birth attendants. More broadly, the article discusses the statistical issues involved in determining the existence of multiple cultural models in a population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-337
Number of pages23
JournalField Methods
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Consensus analysis
  • Cultural variation
  • Postpartum hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology

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