Anth. 147 Notes 6

Anth. 147 Notes 6 - -colonialism and medicine-colonialism a...

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- colonialism and medicine: -colonialism: a system of political, economic, and cultural domination by powerful countries over (militarily) weaker regions of the world -forms of colonial domination: political (native peoples treated as subjects, deprived of the rights enjoyed by citizens of colonizing countries), economic (colonizers force extraction of wealth including resources, labor power, land, etc.), cultural (making or encouraging natives to become like the colonizers) -European colonies (1914): included dominance by Belgium, France, German Empire, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and US -does medicine always equal progress?: consequences of introducing biomedicine depend on context (local cultural meanings?, policies and patterns of distribution?, what political/ economic agendas does biomedicine serve?); medicine often introduced as part of process of colonization (this often brought on destructive events; who gets access to medicine?, what strings are attached to introduction of medicine?) -colonialism and medicine (relations of inequality): medicine integrated into colonial projects to change indigenous societies (civilizing mission, religious conversion, economic interests [in order to receive benefits of medicine, natives would submit to colonial labor system as a whole]), placed natives in inferior position to colonizers (medicine used to legitimize systems that exploited local communities) -ambivalent responses to biomedicine: adopted medical techniques but not worldview of colonizers; accepted biomedicine along with the worldview; meanings of indigenous healing changed (tied to cultural identity, used to deal w/ ills of colonialism) - case study (Xhosa people of South Africa, 1847-1865): early stages of colonialism in South Africa, British missionaries attempt to undermine natives’ political allegiance by delegitimizing Xhosa healers (case of Xhosa taking technology of British w/o taking their worldview) -Xhosa beliefs: sickness is attempt at communication by ancestral spirits (Xhosa must visit an
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This note was uploaded on 05/13/2011 for the course ANTH 147 taught by Professor Rivkin-fish during the Fall '09 term at UNC.

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Anth. 147 Notes 6 - -colonialism and medicine-colonialism a...

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