Anth4590EvolutionandDiseaseNotes

Anth4590EvolutionandDiseaseNotes - Anthropology 4590 Notes...

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Anthropology 4590 Notes – 5/18/11- Health and Disease, Basic Approaches: Culture: socially transmitted systems of shared knowledge, beliefs, and/or practices that vary systematically across groups -Code book of reality: how we transform physical reality into meaningful information Emic and Etic Perspectives: emic (perspective from individual within the culture, significance people themselves give to a behavior) vs. etic -Cultural relativism: not judging one cultural system against another (one is no better than the other) -Moral relativism is the more philosophical perspective, trying to understand the morals and values of a culture and not creating a hierarchy based off different morals -Noble-savage syndrome: closeness to nature, harmony, etc. is superioir (ex: superior to technology, hierarchy) Medical Systems as Cultural Systems Code Book of Reality: US culture, individual is the center and the very young and the very old are not responsible for themselves medically- factors that define independence such as the brain. In Japan, the heart is the center of the individual Reconstruction of the body: -Chimera: which parts of the human body can be replaced with that of other animals and why, examples are the pig heart and eyes, but it’s important to keep the integrity of the human body -U.S. culture, science, and medicine consider body as something that can be taken apart and put back together like a machine with observable facts and the scientific method -Cartesian Dualism: the mind as an unidentifiable part of the body, a separate entity -T. Kats (1652-1729): body as a house, organs are room with furniture (constituent parts) -Military metaphors- modern weapons against disease, or biomedicine, example is tuberculosis medication and its fight against the spread of tb, the immune system responds to threats that are comparable to a country’s military defenses Historical Antecedents: Cultural Anthropology: Behavior as adaptation to disease, local beliefs and behaviors may protect a population from infectious disease such as houses built above the mosquito fly zone in Africa Value of local culture: mothers with ethnomedical and ethnobotanical knowledge, kids are taller, heavier, and less likely to have a parasitic infection International public health: assists with public health organizations, after WWII the WHO was created, Sub-Saharan Africa-covering food against flies and control of parasites were main issues Edward Wellin (1955): Rockefeller Foundation and Peru government project to encourage water boiling, didn’t work due to the community resistance of project workers who were elite and educated, lacked time and resources as well Kuru in the New Guinea Highlands: Carlton Gadjusek and Shirley Lindenbaum, medical and anthropological collaboration, shaking disease in 1950’s, Kuru meaning shaking or fear caused progressive lost muscle control and 100% death. Women and children were especially effected -Interviews suggest that the spread of shaking disease was due to funerary practices in which the
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Anth4590EvolutionandDiseaseNotes - Anthropology 4590 Notes...

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