ANTC61 Lecture 5.pdf

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21 Apr 2012

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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 relativism
Cultural approach: Cultural anthropology approach emphasizes the whole (holism) and cultural relativism
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
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
Social anthropology:
Lecture 5
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
4:41 PM
ANTC61 Page 1
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