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A Companion to Medical Anthropology

ISBN: 978-1-4443-9529-7
576 pages
March 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Medical Anthropology (1444395297) cover image
A Companion to Medical Anthropology examines the current issues, controversies, and state of the field in medical anthropology today.
  • Examines the key issues and current debates in medical anthropology
  • Provides an expert view of the major topics and themes to concern the discipline since its founding in the 1960s
  • Written by leading international scholars in medical anthropology
  • Covers environmental health, global health, biotechnology, syndemics, nutrition, substance abuse, infectious disease, and sexuality and reproductive health, and other topics
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Synopsis of Contents viii

List of Figures xix

List of Tables xx

Notes on Contributors xxi

Acknowledgments – Personal xxxii

Acknowledgments – Sources xxxiii

Introduction 1

Part I Theories, Applications, and Methods 7

1 Medical Anthropology in Disciplinary Context: Definitional Struggles and Key Debates (or Answering the Cri Du Coeur) 9
Elisa J. Sobo

2 Critical Biocultural Approaches in Medical Anthropology 29
Tom Leatherman and Alan H. Goodman

3 Applied Medical Anthropology: Praxis, Pragmatics, Politics, and Promises 49
Robert T. Trotter, II

4 Research Design and Methods in Medical Anthropology 69
Clarence C. Gravlee

5 Medical Anthropology and Public Policy 93
Merrill Eisenberg

Part II Contexts and Conditions 117

6 Culture and the Stress Process 119
William W. Dressler

7 Global Health 135
Craig R. Janes and Kitty K. Corbett

8 Syndemics in Global Health 159
Merrill Singer, D. Ann Herring, Judith Littleton, and Melanie Rock

9 The Ecology of Disease and Health 181
Patricia K. Townsend

10 The Medical Anthropology of Water 197
Linda M. Whiteford and Cecilia Vindrola Padros

11 Political Violence, War and Medical Anthropology 219
Barbara Rylko-Bauer and Merrill Singer

Part III Health and Behavior 251

12 Humans in a World of Microbes: The Anthropology of Infectious Disease 253
Peter J. Brown, George J. Armelagos, and Kenneth C. Maes

13 Sexuality, Medical Anthropology, and Public Health 271
Pamela I. Erickson

14 Situating Birth in the Anthropology of Reproduction 289
Carolyn Sargent and Lauren Gulbas

15 Nutrition and Health 305
David A. Himmelgreen, Nancy Romero Daza and Charlotte A. Noble

16 Anthropologies of Cancer and Risk, Uncertainty and Disruption 323
Lenore Manderson

17 Generation RX: Anthropological Research on Pharmaceutical Enhancement, Lifestyle Regulation, Self-Medication and Recreational Drug Use 339
Gilbert Quintero and Mark Nichter

18 Anthropology and the Study of Illicit Drug Use 357
J. Bryan Page

Part IV Healthwork: Care, Treatment, and Communication 379

19 Ethnomedicine 381
Marsha B. Quinlan

20 Medical Pluralism: An Evolving and Contested Concept in Medical Anthropology 405
Hans A. Baer

21 Biotechnologies of Care 425
Julie Park and Ruth Fitzgerald

22 Social Interaction and Technology: Cultural Competency and the Universality of Good Manners 443
Kathryn Coe, Gail Barker, and Craig Palmer

23 Biocommunicability 459
Charles L. Briggs

24 Anthropology at the End of Life 477
Ron Barrett

Part V The Road Ahead 491

25 Operationalizing a Right to Health: Theorizing a National Health System as a "Commons" 493
Sandy Smith-Nonini and Beverly Bell

26 As the Future Explodes into the Present: Emergent Issues and the Tomorrow of Medical Anthropology 515
Merrill Singer and Pamela I. Erickson

Index 533

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Merrill Singer, PhD is Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut; and Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention and Professor of Anthropology, University of Connecticut.   He has published over 200 articles and is author/co-author or editor of over 20 books. For his work in the field of medical anthropology, Dr Singer has been awarded a number of prestigious awards, including the Rudolph Virchow Prize, the AIDS and Anthropology Paper Prize, the George Foster Memorial Award in Practicing Anthropology.

Pamela I. Erickson, PhD is Professor at the Department of Anthropology and Department of Community Medicine, University of Connecticut Formerly editor of the scholarly journal Medical Anthropology Quarterly, she is a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology, and has also served on the Governing Council of the Family and Reproductive Health Section of the American Public Health Association.

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“It will be of use to undergraduates and postgraduates, as well as proving worthwhile to academics seeking accessible summaries of areas outside their specialism.”  (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 25 January 2013)

"Of this, the Reader provides compelling evidence through the work of senior and junior researchers working on home and foreign terrains (from numerous countries of origin) exploring the circulation of biomedicine, biotechnology, and the ‘medical imaginary'." (Journal of the Royal Astronomical Institute, 2011)

 

"A Companion to Medical Anthropology in the 21st Century, edited by Merrill Singer and Pamela I. Erickson, is quite simply the best overview that is currently available of the field of medical anthropology in the early 21st century.  The chapters brought together in this volume provide not only a definitive overview of an intellectual field, but also a clear sense of medical anthropology's engagement with the world of politics, policy and practice.  This is critical social research at its very best."
- Richard G. Parker, Columbia University

 

"With its broad scope and accomplished contributors, this volume will be a primary reference for all medical anthropologists and students of the field.  Its comprehensive coverage extends both to dominant and emerging themes in the discipline." 
- James Trostle, Trinity College

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