"Children of Deh Koh is the most brilliant anthropological study of children of which I am aware. . . . Friedl sees the ambiguity, contradictions, and paradoxes inherent in children rearing and village life, which children grasp and wield with different levels of skill in attempting to get their needs met. In these pages Iranian village children come to life with all of their individuality, trials, privations, feistiness, courage, and cunning. . . . No one hoping to understand Iranian or Middle Eastern society can afford to overlook this book."—Mary Hegland, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Santa Clara University
The children of Deh Koh live in a society that is often harsh. Yet, while outward circumstances of post-revolutionary village life seem to limit young people’s experiences, their strategies to surmount authority and personal demands through their games, pastimes, and the gendered patterns of interaction provide unexpected choices for movement and thought. In Children of Deh Koh, the youngsters emerge as unsentimental realists who manipulate their meager resources as they learn from their elders ambiguous truths about how the world operates.
Friedl weaves together local practices, cognitive categories, folklore, and anecdotes concerning all aspects of growing up: from conception to early childhood, from understanding religion to using kinship terms correctly.
Readers of Women of Deh Koh will once more welcome Friedl’s lyrical descriptions of a society both universal and unfamiliar. New readers will discover a world that defies easy categorization.
Erika Friedl is professor of anthropology at Western Michigan University. She is the author of Women of Deh Koh and has co-edited Muslim Women and the Politics of Participation: Implementing the Beijing Platform and In the Eye of the Storm: Women in Post-revolutionary Iran, both published by Syracuse University Press.
6 x 9, 328 pages