teaches psychotherapy based on the principles of The Continuum Concept. The Continuum Concept has received great critical acclaim and has earned a. Jean Liedloff, an American writer, spent two and a half years deep in the South American jungle with Stone Age Indians. The experience demolished her. Marital Therapy in Britain, London, Harper and Row. The Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, , revised edn. pp.

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What is “The Continuum Concept”? Are we raising our children the way nature and millions of years of evolution intended? Or are we courting disaster by. PDF | 60 minutes read | On Jan 1, , Chris Bobel and others published When Good Enough Isn't: Mother Blame in The Continuum Concept. PDF | Introduces a number of problems in vegetation theory, the possibility of experimental verification of the continuum in plant community studies, and the.

Chris Bobel Chris Bobel When Good Enough Isn't Mother Blame in The Continuum Concept Nearly ten years ago, I began collecting data for a study on women I termed "natural mothers," women who practice a labour intensive, alternative type of parenting that relies less on technology and consumerism and more on what mothers claim, "feels right" see Bobel, In addition to consuming a whole foods diet, relying largely on holistic health care including homebirth , cloth diapering, ofien home-schooling and generally, living simply, the natural mothers practice "attachment parenting. For the natural mothers, the best kind ofmothering requires a constant stay at home presence, something only a small number ofwomen can afford to provide. For those who cannot manage to devote their fullenergies to mothering because they must work for pay or choose to do so for personal reasons, the dictates of natural mothering can lead to mother blame and its persistent companion, mother guilt. But why? What is it about natural mothering that carries with it the message that those who do not make themselves continually available to their babies are inadequate mothers? As I talked to the natural mothers at the center ofmy study, one explanation shifted into focus. And I quickly realized how vital the book was to the women I studied. For many natural mothers, Liedloff S work earned her a hallowed place as the messenger of a certain truth about the best, most instinctual way to parent. One mother described reading The Continuum Concept as a "mind altering experience" qtd. Still another mother spoke of the book with a pained look. As she read, she told me, she tapped into a deep sadness realizing what she missed in her own upbringing. During subsequent interviews, the book came up again and again establishing it as "the holy grail" of natural mothering. T h e Continuum Concept is based on Liedloff s extended observations over two-and-a-half yeus of the indigenous Yequana2who inhabit the dense rain forest of the upper Caura River basin of Venezuela.

Both the upstream inefficiency leakage and the downstream adjustments seem predictable. We propose that this River Continuum Concept provides a framework for integrating predictable and observable biological features of lotic systems. Implications of the concept in the areas of structure, function, and stability of riverine ecosystems are discussed. Key words: river continuum; stream ecosystems; ecosystem structure, function; resource partitioning; ecosystem stability; community succession; river zonation; stream geomorphology Cited by View all citing articles Spatial variation in trophic structure of nearshore fishes in Lake Michigan as it relates to water clarity Benjamin A.

A new model for the continuum concept

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This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. View Metrics. As I talked to the natural mothers at the center ofmy study, one explanation shifted into focus. And I quickly realized how vital the book was to the women I studied.

For many natural mothers, Liedloff S work earned her a hallowed place as the messenger of a certain truth about the best, most instinctual way to parent. One mother described reading The Continuum Concept as a "mind altering experience" qtd. Still another mother spoke of the book with a pained look.

As she read, she told me, she tapped into a deep sadness realizing what she missed in her own upbringing. During subsequent interviews, the book came up again and again establishing it as "the holy grail" of natural mothering. T h e Continuum Concept is based on Liedloff s extended observations over two-and-a-half yeus of the indigenous Yequana2who inhabit the dense rain forest of the upper Caura River basin of Venezuela. During this time, Liedloff detected a contentment and joy uncharacteristic of her own Western Arneri- can culture.

Unbelievably, she writes, "The children were uniformly well- behaved: never fought, were never punished, always obeyed happily and instantly" 9.

This pervasive "sense of rightness," Liedloff concludes, is the direct consequence of the Yequana way of constant baby carrying until baby begins to crawl , breastfeeding on demand and co-sleeping.

THE CONTINUUM CONCEPT

For her, these "attached practices are rooted in a set of principles she calls "The Continuum Concept," defined as: The sequence of experience which corresponds to the expectations and tendencies of the human species in an environment consistent with that in which those expectations and tendencies were formed. Liedoff, 25 When adopted, she asserts, "continuum-correct" practices yield categori- cally well adjusted, confident, contributing members of their community.

The book, in its 26th printing and translated into l 8 languages, has a significant international following spawning "The Liedoff Society for the Continuum Concept" www.

The trouble with bringing the Yequana home: cultural contradictions and mismatches My own reaction to the bookproduced a dizzying set ofcontradictions. O n an academic level, the relationship between natural mothering and T C C was clear. Natural mothering, I found, embodied and extended TCC.

It was no wonder that the book "spoke" to so many of my informants.

Book Reviews | The British Journal of Social Work | Oxford Academic

But on a more intimate level, the book truly challenged me. My own child was born at home, slept in the family bed for three years and nursed for one-and-a-halfyears, thus, I felt validated for making choices regularly challenged by mainstream parents and child care "experts.

I was proud of the ways I defied convention and cared for my baby in ways consistent with the Yequana Liedloff observed, but I feltjudged for the balance Journal ofthe Associationfor Research on Mothering 1 69 her very active life as a community organizer.

The Continuum Concept is based on Liedloff s extended observations over two-and-a-half of the indigenous Yequana2who inhabit the dense rain forest of the upper Caura River basin of Venezuela.

During this time, Liedloff detected a contentment and joy uncharacteristic of her own Western Ameri- can culture.

For her, these "attached" practices are rooted in a set of principles she calls "The Continuum Concept," defined as: The sequence of experience which corresponds to the expectations and tendencies of the human species in an environment consistent with that in which those expectations and tendencies were formed. Liedloff, 25 When adopted, she asserts, "continuum-correct" practices yield categori- cally well adjusted, confident, contributing members of their community.

The book, in its 26th printing and translated into 18 languages, has a significant international following spawning "The Liedloff Society for the Continuum Concept" www.

The trouble with bringing the Yequana home: cultural contradictions and mismatches My own reaction to the book produced a dizzying set of contradictions. I was proud of the ways I defied convention and cared for my baby in ways consistentwith the Yequana Liedloff observed, but I feltjudged for the balance Journal ofthe Associationfor Research on Mothering 1 69 ofchoices I made that were not "continuum correct.

What was I to make of this powerful book? Was my guilt a signal that Liedloff spoke a truth too painful for me to face? Or, alternatively,was TCC really just another parenting straitjacket written by a non parent that prescribed a set of standards very few could realistically adopt?

Furthermore, what are the implications of a set of expectations extracted from a hunter-gatherer society and prescribed for parents who inhabit indus- trialized lives? As Petra Biiskens astutely argues in her own analysis of popular parenting texts including TCC , the elevation of the so-called "primitive" way of life is "classic romantic nostalgia for the 'noble savage' arising in conditions of destabilizing social change" In addition to the ethnocentric, even racist reduction and appropriation of a constellation of cultural practices that grow out of particular material and social conditions, the directive to "simplify" and "attachnlike nature intended, is an insidious set up for mothers everywhereto interpret their current parenting choices as inadequate, deficient, even dangerous.

The "civilized" parent who turns her back on nature by deploying the modern conveniences of high tech strollers, solid oak cribs and scientifically tested formula, is faulted for doing irreparable harm to her child.

The practice of appropriating Yequana culture produces a mismatch that leaves a void, and that void is filled by maternal blame.

This perspective, I argue, inevitably feeds an already overdeveloped climate of ferocious mother blame that must be challenged; if mothers are to be truly empowered to do the best they can and believe that their best ir good enough. Taking my cue from Susan Douglas co-author, with Meredith Michaels, of The Mornmy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Under- mined Women [] who advocates for "talking back" when mothers are held to unrealistic and damaging standards, this essay engages a textual analysis of The Continuum Concept as a challenge to mother blame.

My aim is to reveal Liedloffs construction of mothers as omnipotent but flawed and singularly responsible for the shaping of children into adults.

In Liedloffs conception, children who mature into healthy, independent and well-adjusted individuals do so solely because mother, eschewing conventional, culture- bound norms of parenting, kept them in close physical contact. Complex realities such as material privilege, cultural capital and social context are not factors.

Furthermore, while TCC advances a compelling argument for "attachment parenting," a structural analysis for why such mother-intensive, mother- dependant care is impractical or even unappealing for most and what measures must be in place to make this style ofparenting a reality is largely missing from Liedloff s work. The book is driven by a revelation of sorts: in order to find peace with oneself, and by extension with the world, one must find "that sense of rightness 4 " or the emotional place "where things [are] as they ought to be 4.

Nature, in this conception, is lost to "civilized" Westerners who, enamored with so-called progress, forget how to be fully human. This fundamental opposition casts nature against culture and neglects the reality that even nature itselfis a socially constructed category. Liedloff deploys a litany of poles including "savage" versus "civilized" and "stone age" versus "modern.

The quest for essential rightness is ended when civilized, modern mothers realize the errors of their ways and adapt the lifestyle of the Yequana.

Jean Liedloff - The Continuum Concept - In Search of Lost Happiness

T o do otherwise is perilous, causing great injury to one's child. According to Liedloff: it must be understood that there is no mechanism in his early life that can take account of an inadequate mother, a mother without a work- ing continuum, one who does not respond to infant signals, one who is set against, not for, the fulfillment of his expectations.

Liedloff describes the vibrant, cooperative and joyll life of the Yequana wherein mothers share the care of infants with others.

Asserting that babies themselves do not discriminate among their caregivers, Liedloff sug- gests a gender-neutral, age-neutral "maternity" when she writes: The maternal role, the only role that can relate to an infant in the earliest months, is instinctivelyplayed by fathers, other children, and anyone else who deals with the infant, even for a moment.

Distin- guishing between sex or age groups is not the business of a baby. This community-focus of childcare is a theme woven throughout TCC. Liedloff shows how chiidcare is a virtual "non activity" threaded into the everydaylife of the Yequana. Babies are not the center of attention; rather, they are immediately integrated into daily work and play.

Innately social, they long to be immersed in the life of their culture, as do their seldom-isolated caregivers, claims Liedloff. But when her discussion shifts to what she terms "civilized"parenting, she speaks exclusiveZy of mothers who seemingly do their mothering alone. There are no other caregivers of children in the scene. In the Introduction to the new edition , for example, we hear only from mothers Millicent, Anthea, Rachel, Nancy and Rosalind. Though fathers are mentioned, they are periph- eral.

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