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Lecture 11

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Karen Kus

Lecture 11 August 15 2013 Applied Anthropology Government, NGOs, industry, business, advocacy OVERVIEW-practical applications of anthro, basic vs. applied research (1 st lecture). 1. Medical Anthropology- done according to three models. It is a growth area, a. Biomedical model- took centuries to develop, there are limits to this model, this is where the other model comes in. Based on scientific epistemology- looks at the body as a natural system, this model is rooted in the medical sciences, and medical doctors use this model. Focus is on human body and its functions, looks at disease and health, and looks at health (internal to the body). Based on work of Claude- medical doctor, wrote an important work in 1865, he elaborated a scientific method to medicine, he argued medicine was observation and experiment, he argued that medicine should be viva section- live cutting of animals. Bernard developed theory of homeostasis- theory of equilibrium, constant temperature, this idea (functioning body has to maintain equilibrium, and that disease is a result of imbalance of the system). Durkheim adopted Bernard’s model of equilibrium and applied it to society, functionalism. i. Scientific epistemology ii. The human body & its functions • Claude Bernard (1813‐1878) • Homeostasis iii.Epidemiology-study of health and illness in population, use demography, biostatistics, study diseased like diabetes. This research is common in public health. b. Cultural –Interpretive model- looks at limits of biomedical model and moves on from there, biomedicine just looks at body, they don’t look at the cultural environment, where is the person living etc. it does not reject the biomedical model, but it does not explain everything. i. Limits of biomedical model • Kuru / endocannibalism / prions Case study of Kuru- kuru is the diseased studied among the Foray people, much higher disease in this pop, attacks the nervous system, ppl who get it shake, lose control of body and die, its fatal. They attributed this cause to a Lecture 11 August 15 2013 slow virus, a latent viral cause that could live for a long period of time, and hard to eliminate/kill. Now science attributes it to Prion- are subviral entities, they are pathogenic, fatal, b/c they reproduce, very deadly. Mostly kuru women and children get this. Carlton Gajdosek won a noble prize for this. Why is the women and children getting this, what they observed is that the foray practiced endocannibalism, they eat the dead relatives, mostly the women were involved in preparing the body, they would open up the brain of the deceased and eat them and give it to children as well. When the men came they ate the legs. There were prions in the brain, and the women and children were eating this. Only way to find out is going out in the field and observing. They showed a cultural practice provided the context for this biomedical condition. ii. Medical practice is cultural-learned in a social context, wrapped up in religion, witchcraft, why am I sick not anyone else. Gender is also a huge factor in health. iii.Phenomenology- approach is roo
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