Anth. 147 Notes

Anth. 147 Notes - -learning comparative healing systems-not...

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-learning comparative healing systems-not a smorgasbord (other cultures do not recognize same definition of disease, or even same diseases that we do); how is disease/ suffering meaningful to a particular community? -viewing all healing systems as: having historical roots and cultural assumptions, based in social relations, not primarily technical or mechanical processes -anthropological knowledge: involves case studies (going to Russia and examining individual maternity hospitals), theoretical principles (how has Russia’s transition to democracy affected women’s health?) -case study example (preventing diarrheal disease in Sri Lanka): in 1979 diarrheal diseases were 3 rd leading cause of death; public health message was “drink boiled, cooled water”; why did fewer than 10% of villagers follow this advice? (problems were not illiteracy, fuel scarcity, knowledge of importance of quality of water) - rural Sri Lankan villagers : -notions of water and water management: taste, smell and quality of water are of great importance; they like to see the source of water (thus don’t like closed wells); believe that limited amount of sunlight is necessary to keep water fresh; notion of pipe water is disgusting, pipe water “tastes of iron”; boiled, cooled water apparently is tasteless; since boiled, cooled water is typically given only to the ill, villagers associate it with illness and not health; villagers believe that quality of water differs with source (use different water sources for drinking and bathing in accordance w/ water’s clarity, depth, exposure to Sun) -notions of the body: for people who are strong/ healthy the only qualities of water that matter are taste,
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Anth. 147 Notes - -learning comparative healing systems-not...

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