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Lecture 7

ANTHROP 3HI3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Paralanguage


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTHROP 3HI3
Professor
Dr. Rebecca Plett
Lecture
7

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Disease etiologies
Personalistic:
o A medical system where a disease is due to the active, purposeful intervention of an agent:
Human (witch, sorcerer)
Supernatural (ghost, ancestor, evil spirit)
o Sick person is a victim, the object of attack, directed at them for specific reasons; little room
for chance or accident
Naturalistic:
o Explains disease in impersonal, systemic terms
o Disease is caused by natural forces/conditions (wind, dampness, hot, cold) that upsets the
balance of basic body elements - an equilibrium model
o Treatment attempt to restore balance
Explanatory system
Personalistic:
o Illness is part of a comprehensive explanatory system - it's a special case in the explanation
of misfortune
The same ghost, deities, witches, etc. may cause illness, as, for ex., drought
"disease" the same as misfortune
o Practices and ideas relating to medicine inseparable from religion; specialists are often
curers/healers and religious specialists
Naturalistic:
o Explanatory system is restricted to disease
o Religion plays limited role because it doesn't factor into etiology
Treatment
Personalistic:
o Multiple levels of causation, therefore treatment requires a curer with supernatural/magical
skills - the central question is "who"? Or "why"?
o The skill of the curer lies in their ability to finding out who and/or why
Naturalistic:
o Treatment is by a specialist in symptomatic treatment - primary concern is therapeutic
o Self-diagnosis is key: you know the causative agent, can thus know what caused you to be
unwell
Prevention
Personalistic:
o Prevention of illness through "do's" - fostering positive social relationships
"time and money" required
o Less control over the conditions that lead to illness
Naturalistic:
o Prevention of illness based on "shouldn't's" and "don't's"
Through avoidance - requires knowledge of the system
o Responsibility for health resides with the patient - illness is evidence of "lack of care"
Healing
Healing is subjective and related to illness:
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