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Blood and Nerves

An Ethnographic Focus on Menopause

By Dona Lee Davis
Categories: Anthropology/ethnography, Gender, Medicine, Newfoundland And Labrador Studies
Series: Social and Economic Studies
Series Number: 28
Paperback : 9780919666412, 239 pages, April 1983


What is universal and presumably physiological in women's experience of menopause? What is variable and cultural? Can status change vs. status continuity in middle age affect or mediate menopausal symptoms? How does one go about conducting an ethnography of menopause? Davis explores these questions in a southwest Newfoundland fishing village.

The book will be of interest to specialists in women's studies and aging, to public health and medical practitioners, as well as to the general reader. Included is a review of medical and social science literature on menopause.


Blood and Nerves is a welcome first step in providing a 'thick description' of menopause in a particular sociocultural setting. Davis's interpretation of the native model of menopause is intriguing and very different from that purported to apply to middle-class, Western women.

- Anne L. Wright, Medical Anthropology Quarterly