Parenting styles and predominantly the breastfeeding of infants among the sedentary Nso farmers and nomadic Fulani pastorals of Cameroon have been appraised in this book. Breastfeeding is not only a process of infant feeding, but also a parenting system which is practiced differently in diverse cultures depending on the eco-cultural challenges. The primary socialization goal of the two groups is the health and survival of the child in a hazardous environment with high infant mortality rate. Yet, their ideas about self construal differ with the Nso following a more interdependent developmental pathway and the Fulani following a more individualistic pathway. The results are discussed with respect to their applicability for supporting breastfeeding in rural Africa, and also highlight how parenting strategies carve out the different psychological orientation profiles.
Relindis Dzeaye Yovsi is a research associate at the Department of Culture and Development, University of Osnabrück.