Anthropology 227 - Medical Anthropology January 8 . 2013
Focus: Experience of illness and applied medical anthropology
- A patient is a site for a story rather than simply a site for disease
- Medical anthropology is not a discipline is not simply a place where medicine and
culture meet. The task of medical anthropology is not simply to study different
applications of medicine and approaches to diseases.
Medicine = culture
- Personhood is the center of medical anthropology. Personhood is a process for
describing the ongoing negotiations between the self as the center of the
- Personhood = culturally defined concept.
- in essence is a collection of implicit or explicit values that underscore our
understandings and the way we interpret and engage in life.
- It’s not possible to “step into the same cultural river twice” = constantly changing
- not purely science
- Not purely objective or evidence based
- It is deeply humanistic
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal
- You can’t measure the speed of an electron and at the same time measure its
mass. The act of measurement effects the thing that you are measuring.
- examines alternative realities, realities creased by culture, culture creased by you
- can tell us how is it possible for an activity to be illegal in one time, legal in
another and acceptable health case in a