Babylost: Racism, Survival, and the Quiet Politics of Infant Mortality, from A to Z (Paperback)

Babylost: Racism, Survival, and the Quiet Politics of Infant Mortality, from A to Z By Monica J. Casper Cover Image

Babylost: Racism, Survival, and the Quiet Politics of Infant Mortality, from A to Z (Paperback)

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The U.S. infant mortality rate is among the highest in the industrialized world, and Black babies are far more likely than white babies to die in their first year of life. Maternal mortality rates are also very high. Though the infant mortality rate overall has improved over the past century with public health interventions, racial disparities have not. Racism, poverty, lack of access to health care, and other causes of death have been identified, but not yet adequately addressed. The tragedy is twofold: it is undoubtedly tragic that babies die in their first year of life, and it is both tragic and unacceptable that most of these deaths are preventable. Despite the urgency of the problem, there has been little public discussion of infant loss. The question this book takes up is not why babies die; we already have many answers to this question. It is, rather, who cares that babies, mostly but not only Black and Native American babies, are dying before their first birthdays? More importantly, what are we willing to do about it? This book tracks social and cultural dimensions of infant death through 58 alphabetical entries, from Absence to ZIP Code. It centers women’s loss and grief, while also drawing attention to dimensions of infant death not often examined. It is simultaneously a sociological study of infant death, an archive of loss and grief, and a clarion call for social change.
MONICA J. CASPER is the dean of the College of Arts and Letters at San Diego State University in California. She is the author of The Making of the Unborn Patient (Rutgers University Press).
Product Details ISBN: 9781978825949
ISBN-10: 1978825943
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: March 18th, 2022
Pages: 270
Language: English
“This is a moving, beautiful book. The composite effect is stunning, both an indictment of systemic racism and sexism, and a tender offering to those touched by baby loss... The text seamlessly weaves between the personal and the sociological, and is very accessible while also being nuanced and not sacrificing complexity.”
— Annie Menzel

“This book contains entries that are robust in their exploration of intersecting concerns around infant mortality. It is important, timely, and innovative.”
— Dána-Ain Davis

Clio Talks: Babylost: An Interview with Monica Casper by Lauren Freidenfelds
— Nursing Clio

“This is a moving, beautiful book. The composite effect is stunning, both an indictment of systemic racism and sexism, and a tender offering to those touched by baby loss... The text seamlessly weaves between the personal and the sociological, and is very accessible while also being nuanced and not sacrificing complexity.”
— Annie Menzel

“This book contains entries that are robust in their exploration of intersecting concerns around infant mortality. It is important, timely, and innovative.”
— Dána-Ain Davis

Clio Talks: Babylost: An Interview with Monica Casper by Lauren Freidenfelds
— Nursing Clio