U Robert Pool PN U D B LE & Wenzel Geissler IR CS HTA EN A LD TI UNDERSTANDING PUBLIC HEALTH HN G SERIES EDITORS:NICK BLACK & ROSALIND RAINE Medical Anthropology There is an increasing global awareness of the Medical anthropology is playing an increasingly Medical inevitable limits of M important role in publichealth. This book individual health care and provides an introduction to the basic concepts, e of the need to complement d approaches and theories used, and shows how such services with effective i c these contribute to understanding complex public health strategies. a Anthropology health-related behaviour. Public health policies Understanding Public Health l A and interventions are more likely to be is an innovative series of n effective if the beliefs and behaviour of people twenty books, published by t h are understood and taken into account.
Understanding Public Health Series editors: Nick Black and Rosalind Raine, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Throughout the world, recognition of the importance of public health to sustainable, safe and healthy societies is growing. The achievements of public health in nineteenth-century Europe were for much of the twentieth century overshadowed by advances in personal care, in particular in hospital care. Now, with the dawning of a new century, there is increasing understanding of the inevitable limits of individual health care and of the need to complement such services with effective public health strategies. Major improvements in people’s health will come from controlling com- municable diseases, eradicating environmental hazards, improving people’s diets and enhancing the availability and quality of effective health care. To achieve this, every country needs a cadre of know- ledgeable public health practitioners with social, political and organizational skills to lead and bring about changes at international, national and local levels.
Open University Press McGraw-Hill Education McGraw-Hill House Shoppenhangers Road Maidenhead Berkshire England SL6 2QL email: [email protected] world wide web: www.openup.co.uk and Two Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121-2289, USA First published 2005 Copyright © London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 2005 All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of short passages for the purpose of criticism and review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency Limited. Details of such licences (for reprographic reproduction) may be obtained from the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd of 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4LP.
Contents Overview of the book 1 1 Anthropology and culture 5 2 Anthropological perspectives 15 3 Approaches to medical anthropology 28 4 Medical systems and medical syncretism 39 5 Interpreting and explaining sickness 52 6 Situating sickness and health 63 7 The relationship between anthropology and biomedicine 76 8 Substances of power 88 9 Local and global medicines 100 10 Cultures, persons, bodies 117 11 Medical research 141 12 Health interventions as a ﬁeld of social practice 151 Glossary 163 Index 169.
Acknowledgements Open University Press and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have made every effort to obtain permission from copyright holders to reproduce material in this book and to acknowledge these sources correctly. Any omissions brought to our attention will be remedied in future editions.
Overview of the book Introduction Recent decades have seen growing participation by medical anthropologists in medical research and public health, and medical anthropology has become the single largest subdiscipline in anthropology. Nowadays an increasing number of medical research projects (at least once they progress beyond the initial laboratory- based phase) and public health interventions involve medical anthropologists – or closely related social science disciplines – in some capacity. Increasingly, anthro- pologists and health professionals work hand-in-hand in an interdisciplinary effort to alleviate suffering.
Anthropology and culture 1 Overview In this chapter and the next we will introduce anthropology and discuss its most important characteristics. First we deﬁne anthropology and discuss the central concept of culture. Then, in the next chapter, we present other key aspects such as participant observation, comparison and holism.
Anthropological 2 perspectives Overview In this chapter we explore the ways in which anthropology approaches the study of culture and society and the perspectives it uses to understand social and cultural phenomena. We will also discuss how it presents its ﬁndings.