Theoretical Orientations Medical Anthropology Monday, November 10, 2014 10:56 AM ANT 102 Page 175
Biomedicine as a cultural system, scientific research as political, power ○ The Bribri's mode of livelihood has been changed because there is a large plantation keeping the men from being home. This causes a lot of depression because the men are gone for weeks at a time. By developing an ecotourism program, the Bribri's bodies are healthier and their depression is lessening □ Greg, Bribri Modes of production; Historical relationships to governing bodies; Colonialism; Globalization ○ Political Economic approaches • Greg, Bribri □ How social influences impact the physical body "Embodiment" ○ Theories of the body • Greg, Bipolar Group The way cultures use symbolic meaning to describe and understand health and disease ○ Symbolic Approach • "Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale." "Social injustice is killing on a grand scale." Typhus outbreak could not be solved by treating individual patients with drugs but only through radical action to promote the advancement of an entire population ○ Rudolf Virchow, German pathologist (1849) • Psychology, Vision, Kinship □ Torres Straits' Expedition Medicine as part of a cultural system Worked with soldiers who were 'shell shocked' The method of curing 'shell shock' then was to dunk people in freezing water, etc. Instead of that, W.H.R. talked to them, implemented a psychoanalytic approach "Talking Cure" □ Word War I "Medicine, Magic and Religion" (1924) ○ William Halse Rivers (W.H.R.) Rivers • Medicine an area of study in its own right Survey of beliefs about disease causation (1932) ○ Forrest Clements • Medical practices follow logically from underlying beliefs ○ E.E. Evans Pritchard (1937) • Margaret Mead Beginning in the mid-1930s ○ Culture and Personality Studies • Roots in colonialism, Christian missionary activities Prior to the 1930s ○ Armed forces, public health 1940s: WWII ○ World Health Organization 1940s-1950s: International development agencies ○ Society for Medical Anthropology, founded in 1967-1968 ○ And critical perspectives of biomedicine 1970s: Critical Medical Anthropology ○ International Public Health • History of Medical Anthropology Theories of Disease Causation ANT 102 Page 176
Foster ○ Personalistic/Naturalistic • Supernatural Causation ○ Impersonal forces Mystical ○ Supernatural agents Animistic ○ Sorcery or witchcraft □ Human agents Magical ○ Infection, stress, accident Natural Causation ○ Worldwide Classification of Disease Etiology (Murdock) • Theories of Disease Causation Biomedical science Physiological alteration that impairs function in some way ○ Disease • Depression is mental, Neurostania is physical, pharmaceutical companies claim they're the same things Depression (the West) vs. Neurostania (China) □ Culturally specific and appropriate ways of being Ill Subjective experience of symptoms and suffering ○ (disease w/o illness) Being diagnosed with cancer w/o having experienced symptoms.
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