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ANT102 - 2nd half of the term - November 28th, 2012.doc

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Andrea Muehlebach

Suffering & Illness – {Medical Anthropology} How do you understand suffering and explain human illness? There are two approaches and answers: The structural & cultural approach Structure • Suffering is structured • Both Acephie & Chouchou (stories about two people from vilioent ways in Haiti while suffering from AIDS). Both characters share the experience of occupying the bottom part of the social ladder in egalitarian societies • Aphelie & ChouChou suggest that economic social forces are what create conditions for suffering for these two characters • From the day both of these characters were essentially born – they were at risk of violence Structural Violence – a systematic way through which individuals are preventing from achieving their FULL potential. Poverty, racism and sexism are forms of these kinds of violence. This allows us to think of this not as a personal thing but it allows to think about how violence and forms of abuse are primarily created by large scale institutions. • Structural Violence says that life choices are hindered • Suffering and health are not random but are fascilitated and often economically driven {Rational Choice Theory} - humans only make ration choices that MAXIMIZE personal advantage regardless if they are selling, buying, or marrying. How is structural violence documented? • we must be historically deep enough to understand how AIDS in this case in Haiti began and understand the French history • we need to understand the nature of STRUCTURAL POWER which lies in geography abroad. No matter what geography says, women are always at risk ands suffering and gender plays a role in being a transcendent factor that plays a part in suffering and violence. Race and poverty is the same thing. • BUT –no m
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