Anthopology 238 Midterm Review

Anthopology 238 Midterm Review - Medical Anthropology...

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Medical Anthropology Midterm Review Week 1: What is Medical Anthropology Scope of Medical Anthropology: Inquiry into the issues of human health, illness , medicine and healing. Historical Roots: - Interest in Magic and witchcraft in the 19 th C - Transcultural Psychology (1920-1940) – Looking at psychiatric problems across cultures - International Public Health Movement ( Post WWII) – Countries devastated by WWII sought help and influx of people travelled to help them Made up of different subfields that can be studied using the following approaches: - Biological Approaches - Ecological Approaches - Ethnomedical Approaches - Critical and Applied Anthropology All 5 Approaches share 4 basic premises: 1. Illness and healing are basic human premises that are best understood holistically in the complex interactions between human biology and culture 2. disease is an aspect of human environments influenced by culturally specific behaviors and sociopolitical circumstances 3. human body and symptoms are interpreted through cultural filters of beliefs and epistemological assumptions 4. cultural aspects of healing systems have important consequences for the acceptability, efficacy and improvement of health care in human societies. ECOLOGICAL MODELS OF DISEASE Disease : Biochemical and Biological Imbalance Illness : Human experience and perceptions of their alterations in health as informed by their social and cultural meanings. WHAT CAUSES DISEASE???? Biological : pathogens, subsistence systems, degenerative conditions, diet, genetics, environment and social factors Ecological : Political and Social Environment Ethnomedical : Could be through natural forces or supernatural forces Adaptation – changes that develop in response to pressure of and environments; helps us to understand the different disease patterns and history of disease in partic. environments. - Genetic, physiological, developmental, behavioral Ecology – Interrelationships among populations and their environments.
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Environment and healthcare are created by culture Disease is a result of the interaction between the host and pathogen in the context of a specific environment. Example: Malaria Case in Sardinia ( Brown Chapter 9) Malaria – causes fever, headaches, chills, vomiting. Transmission depends on rainfall patterns, interspersion of the population, proximity of breeding sites and mosquito species. The disease may also be endemic to a population (Africa) or be seasonal, as in Sardinia – which prevents immunity. The mosquito species also affects transmission, as in Sardinia the species was not only found in human habitations as it could feast on other organisms as well. Agricultural development promoted malaria – thought of as a “rural disease” Cultural and Genetic Adaptations to Malaria: Cultural Adaptations: Moving from lowland to highlands, mosquito nets, creation of nucleated settlements, Sardinian women were usually confined to the paese Genetic: Sickle-cell gene; mainly found in Africa, seasonal malaria prevents development of immunity.
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