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Lecture 18

ANTHROP 3HI3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Biopolitics, Body Politic, 2010 Haiti Earthquake


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTHROP 3HI3
Professor
Dr.Medeiros
Lecture
18

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ANTHROP 3HI3 Lecture 18
March 21, 2016 March 21, 2016
Priscilla Medeiros, 1
Biopolitics and the State
The body politic three bodies model (Scheper-Hughes and Lock)
Important for the final exam ties back to the book
Read last weeks readings considering local biologies for the tutorials tomorrow
After the Haitian earthquake, there is still disruption of infrastructure in Haiti
Defining Biopolitics:
Governments are concerned with environmental public policy and decision-making
A way to control the population as a whole
o Power over all major social processes and life including individual’s local
knowledge
o Population as a biological issue medicalizing the body because it needs to be
surveyed and controlled
Controlling the individual and the population by the government
o Implementing public policy and making decisions on behalf of the entire
population that may or may not be in their best interest
Everyone is affected by this level of power and control
Duvalier and the Political Landscape:
Former President of Haiti, Jean Claude Duvalier following the death of his father
Dictator at the age of 19
Key figirue in the spread of HIV during the 1980s
Expenditures on education, healthcare, and social services were extremely low
o Contributed to negative health outcomes and spread of disease
o Lived extravagant lifestyles as opposed to putting money towards the people of
the country
Remained in power for 15 years:
o High levels of poverty
o No social infrastructure
Haitian Earthquake put more stress on an already broken structure causing increased
spread of disease and difficulty rebuilding the country
Haiti’s Healthcare System:
Deficient sanitary systems, poor nutrition, and poor funding/education
Government of Haiti finances 7% of total healthcare costs
o Extremely low by comparison to other countries in the world
This system is dependent on 64% of foreign aid financing
o Remaining cost is paid by the individual themselves
o $83 USD per year on medical care
Most medical services are concentrated in the capital city of Port-au-Prince
o Except for particular organizations that venture out to rural communities
25 physicians and 11 nurses for 100,000 people
Lack of roads make it difficult to access medical care à travel 5+ km to see a doctor
o About 60% of the population cannot access a doctor
o Caused spread of preventable typhoid fever due to lack of proper structure
Doctors keep 85% of money, and the other 15% goes back to the government
o This prevents better infrastructure from being better funded
46% of people do not have access to care due to financial or geographic regions
o After the earthquake of 2010, this number rose to 60%
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