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An Anthropology of Biomedicine, 2nd Edition

An Anthropology of Biomedicine, 2nd Edition

Margaret Lock, Vinh-Kim Nguyen

ISBN: 978-1-119-06913-3

Mar 2018

560 pages


In this fully revised and updated second edition of An Anthropology of Biomedicine, authors Lock and Nguyen introduce biomedicine from an anthropological perspective, exploring the entanglement of material bodies with history, environment, culture, and politics. Drawing on historical and ethnographic work, the book critiques the assumption made by the biological sciences of a universal human body that can be uniformly standardized. It focuses on the ways in which the application of biomedical technologies brings about radical changes to societies at large based on socioeconomic inequalities and ethical disputes, and develops and integrates the theory that the human body in health and illness is not an ontological given but a moveable, malleable entity.

This second edition includes new chapters on: microbiology and the microbiome; global health; and, the self as a socio-technical system. In addition, all chapters have been comprehensively revised to take account of developments from within this fast-paced field, in the intervening years between publications. References and figures have also been updated throughout.

This highly-regarded and award-winning textbook (Winner of the 2010 Prose Award for Archaeology and Anthropology) retains the character and features of the previous edition. Its coverage remains broad, including discussion of: biomedical technologies in practice; anthropologies of medicine; biology and human experiments; infertility and assisted reproduction; genomics, epigenomics, and uncertain futures; and molecularizing racial difference, ensuring it remains the essential text for students of anthropology, medical anthropology as well as public and global health. 

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Chapter 1: Biomedical technologies in practice

Chapter 2: The normal body

Chapter 3: Anthropologies of medicine

Second section overview

Chapter 4: Colonial disease and biological commensurability

Chapter 5: Grounds for comparison: biology and human experiments

Chapter 6: The right population

Third section overview

Chapter 7: Who owns the body?

Chapter 8: The social life of human organs

Chapter 9: Making kinship: infertility and assisted reproduction

Fourth section overview

Chapter 10: The sociotechnical self

Chapter 11: Genes as embodied risk

Chapter 12: Global health

Fifth section overview

Chapter 13: From local to situated biologies

Chapter 14: Of microbes and humans

Chapter 15: Genomics, epigenomics, and uncertain futures

Chapter 16: Molecularizing racial difference