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Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies, and Physicians and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy
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Basic Books 2015
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Social scientist and mother Courtney Jung explores the ever-expanding world of breastfeeding advocacy, shining a new light on the diverse communities who compose it, the dubious science behind it, and the pernicious public policies to which it has given rise
Is breast really best? Breastfeeding is widely assumed to be the healthiest choice, yet growing evidence suggests that its benefits have been greatly exaggerated. New moms are pressured by doctors, health officials, and friends to avoid the bottle at all costs-often at the expense of their jobs, their pocketbooks, and their well-being.
In Lactivism, political scientist Courtney Jung offers the most deeply researched and far-reaching critique of breastfeeding advocacy to date. Drawing on her own experience as a devoted mother who breastfed her two children and her expertise as a social scientist, Jung investigates the benefits of breastfeeding and asks why so many people across the political spectrum are passionately invested in promoting it, even as its health benefits have been persuasively challenged. What emerges is an eye-opening story about class and race in America, the big business of breastfeeding, and the fraught politics of contemporary motherhood.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Edition:
1
Street Date:
11/24/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780465061655
ASIN:
B012271QEW

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Courtney Jung. (2015). Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies, and Physicians and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy. 1 Basic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Courtney Jung. 2015. Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies, and Physicians and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy. Basic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Courtney Jung, Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies, and Physicians and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy. Basic Books, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Courtney Jung. Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies, and Physicians and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy. 1 Basic Books, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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fullDescription
Social scientist and mother Courtney Jung explores the ever-expanding world of breastfeeding advocacy, shining a new light on the diverse communities who compose it, the dubious science behind it, and the pernicious public policies to which it has given rise
Is breast really best? Breastfeeding is widely assumed to be the healthiest choice, yet growing evidence suggests that its benefits have been greatly exaggerated. New moms are pressured by doctors, health officials, and friends to avoid the bottle at all costs-often at the expense of their jobs, their pocketbooks, and their well-being.
In Lactivism, political scientist Courtney Jung offers the most deeply researched and far-reaching critique of breastfeeding advocacy to date. Drawing on her own experience as a devoted mother who breastfed her two children and her expertise as a social scientist, Jung investigates the benefits of breastfeeding and asks why so many people across the political spectrum are passionately invested in promoting it, even as its health benefits have been persuasively challenged. What emerges is an eye-opening story about class and race in America, the big business of breastfeeding, and the fraught politics of contemporary motherhood.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 24, 2015
        This harsh critique of breastfeeding advocacy in America may be hard to hear for people who subscribe to the now widespread notion that “breast is best,” but Jung makes some thoughtful points against seeing the practice as the most or only acceptable option for mothers. She worries that “lactivism” transforms parenting choices into competitive arenas or moral imperatives, makes it too easy for companies to present themselves as family-friendly simply on the basis of allowing employees to pump at work, and encourages peer judgement by defining formula feeding as a poor lifestyle choice. Jung also sees women’s control over their bodies as being at stake, noting that nonbreastfeeding women have seen their federal nutritional benefits reduced. Arguing that the evidence for breast milk’s nutritional benefits over formula is modest, she believes that the societal treatment of breastfeeding has gone way beyond acknowledging that it’s a good method to feed a baby, moving into self-congratulatory middle-class identity politics. Though Jung probably won’t convince anyone to change policy, her intersectional perspective, which looks at how feminist concerns mesh with those related to race and class, may encourage advocates to approach new moms with more sensitivity, and to view the ubiquity of breast pumps with a slightly more dubious eye. Agent: Sam Hiyate, Rights Factory.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 1, 2015
        The pros and cons of using breast milk instead of formula for your baby. Jung (Political Science/Univ. of Toronto; The Moral Force of Indigenous Politics: Critical Liberalism and the Zapatistas, 2008, etc.) offers readers an inside look at the modern world of breast-feeding, which has undergone transformative changes since its revival in the United States in the 1970s. Prior to that time, women were encouraged to use formula, giving mothers the freedom to return to work shortly after giving birth. Then feminists took a political stance on breast-feeding, claiming that it was a woman's right to choose how to feed her children. This revolution against corporations and the desire for individual choice has slowly morphed into a multifaceted, multibillion-dollar industry in which those who breast-feed are considered fashionable and intelligent and those who don't are often frowned upon by others. Using solid evidence to back her statements, the author analyzes how the simple act of breast-feeding has shifted into a mechanical process through the use of breast pumps, with a salable commodity: the breast milk. In fact, the actual act of feeding the child sometimes takes a back seat to it all. Jung explores the questionable practice of encouraging mothers with HIV/AIDS to breast-feed since substantial scientific evidence shows that breast milk, a bodily fluid, can carry the virus. The author also explores the effects of the formula vs. breast-feeding debate on developing countries, particularly Africa, where the dangers of waterborne illnesses often outweigh the risk of contracting HIV. She discusses the history of La Leche League and other breast-feeding support groups and the difficulties women face when they return to the workplace and need to express milk but are given little or no support in their endeavors. Jung offers her own experiences breast-feeding her children as a side note to the political, social, health, and economic ramifications of this now-convoluted procedure. A levelheaded, well-researched analysis of the many "trappings of contemporary breastfeeding culture."

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2015

        In this well-researched and captivating work, Jung (political science, Univ. of Toronto; The Moral Force of Indigenous Politics) explores the U.S. culture of breastfeeding advocacy or "lactivism" from its revival in the 1970s to the present day. Jung, who breastfed both of her children, confronts misconceptions about the act of nursing while placing it into a medical and political context. She then proceeds to compare nursing in different countries, investigating the factors that affect initiation and duration. Most importantly, the author discusses the culture of breastfeeding, one in which breast milk has become a commodity and breastfeeding has become big business, while also challenging exaggerated health claims and explaining how new mothers often feel pressured to breastfeed exclusively at all costs. Jung further cautions that exclusive breastfeeding is not the panacea of parenthood and carefully explores the intersection of race, class, and gender in the related debate. VERDICT A thought-provoking book with many compelling points. Readers interested in the social sciences and/or women and children's health issues will appreciate Jung's examination of America's obsession with breastfeeding and of the breastfeeding orthodoxy.--Lyndsie Robinson, Milne Lib., SUNY at Oneonta

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Social scientist and mother Courtney Jung explores the ever-expanding world of breastfeeding advocacy, shining a new light on the diverse communities who compose it, the dubious science behind it, and the pernicious public policies to which it has given rise
Is breast really best? Breastfeeding is widely assumed to be the healthiest choice, yet growing evidence suggests that its benefits have been greatly exaggerated. New moms are pressured by doctors, health officials, and friends to avoid the bottle at all costs-often at the expense of their jobs, their pocketbooks, and their well-being.
In Lactivism, political scientist Courtney Jung offers the most deeply researched and far-reaching critique of breastfeeding advocacy to date. Drawing on her own experience as a devoted mother who breastfed her two children and her expertise as a social scientist, Jung investigates the benefits of breastfeeding and asks why so many people across the political spectrum are...
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