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As anthropologists study worldwide societies, we are trying to study the behavior of societies through
We're not worried about the validity of people's beliefs, but how do they work and what are their consequences for social practice
Cultural approach: Cultural anthropology approach emphasizes the whole (holism) and cultural relativism
We can distinguish between a system of knowledge and a system of practical care (social institutions that involve the
interaction of a number of people, at the very least the healer and patient)
Health care system mobilizes the community and make them aware of health problems. The healthcare system reflects the
logic of trhe wellness model, but it also plays a role in tying the governmental, religious, legal and other actors.
What is a medical system?
Conflicting with indigenous systems
Complementary: see different types of healers/ doctors for different problems
Biomedicine can be
One system is usually elevated above forms, with its cultural and social aspects upheld by law
Individual make decisions to select a treatment on factors such as consideration of the therapy itself (risk, suitability), cost and
religious/ political factors
Sectors of health care
Popular: 70- 90% of illness may me managed in the popular sector. People will ask friends, family members and others for
assistance (i.e. church). We also evaluate the other sectors in this one. Self- help is a growing sector, and the internet gives
people more information than they need perhaps.
Folk: This is not a part of the official medical system. It may be accepted by society, but not legally. Shamanism, natural
healing. These people may be emulating the professional sector and trying to gain legal acceptance. There are many
movements in many places to get official status for this traditional medicine. The professional sector challenges the folk
sector and views it with suspicion (quackery).
Kleinman: 3 sectors of healthcare delivery:
Medical pluralism: the existence of competing systems of medical practice
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
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