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Lecture

Lec 3-ANTC61.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTC61H3
Professor
Laura Sikstrom
Semester
Summer

Description
The Mindful body-Scheper-Hughes  individual o people sit differently cross-culturally e.g. Malawians who are not used to sitting cross-legged have a hard time staying like that for hours...the way we are taught to sit shapes our muscles, the food we eat etc. influences our illnesses and what we are able to do o ethnophysiology-culturally variable ways in which the body is conceptualized and experienced, particularly as it concerns health and illness  Moerman article  pill colours had cultural meaning for them  6% decease in life expectancy of Chinese Americans born under an unlucky astrological sign  social o body as symbol: "good to think with" o body as microcosm of society  when bodies are not healthy, we think society is not healthy (we make meaning out of that e.g. ADHD, we talk about video games and sugary foods)  body politic o relationship between individual/social bodies, power and control o e.g. women should sit with legs closed (monitoring body-mother) o drug and alcohol legislation (prison/the state) o family planning: forced sterilizations; one child policies, global gag order-only gave aid to countries that did not allow abortion o body weight and exercise (gendered) o below replacement fertility (Japan/Quebec)-cash incentives to have children o fertility is deeply tied to politics and the economy  medicalization o e.g. ADHD has been medicalized (seen as a biological problem)  Scheper-Hughes o saying that it's not helpful to think of every disease as biological, sometimes, it is helpful to look outside of the biological paradigm o saying that we should not separate mind and body, it changes the way you understand mental health or stress related illnesses (not just in your mind, but your mind and body are very interrelated)  biomedical epistemology o traced to rene descartes o cartesian legacy  said that the mind and body are 2 separate glands  mind is in the pituitary gland  was paving the way for medical research, especially autopsy (e.g. we can dissect bodies and it is not a sin)  belief (witchcraft)/knowledge (medicine)  this separation may give biomedicine authority that it might not deserve o autopsies  to see for oneself o biomedicine is very interested in seeing inside the body (integral to medicine) e.g. the dr. shows you your x-ray o Limits  what we can't observe  understanding illness in biomedical terms only limits us because there are things that we do not know  e.g. Chinese acupuncture, can't see the channels, doesn't mean they don't exist  there are mind-body-society interactions  e.g. stress, pain, placebo, SUNDS, anorexia, poverty etc.  it is not productive to think of HIV only as a virus e.g. if you are lacking nutrients, you are 1000x's more likely to get HIV after sexual intercourse with someone who has it  medicalization  individualizes distress rather than politicizing or collectivizing (puts the blame on the person that they are not making good choices or lack self-control)  implications for prevention and treatment  if obesity was seen as a social problem in canada, intervention would be centered around labeling, transparency, limits advertising food to children  if public health care e.g. canada, there are a lot more policies about smoking because the government is vested into preventing cancer, but in the US it is private, so they do not have the same vested interest  Case study: Childhood obesity (Moffet article) o natural history of obesity  interest increased in past 25 years  intense public/media debate  funding went up by 800%  obesity->"globesity" o social construction crituque  characterization as an epidemic  (implies it is a biological problem and something that is contagious-some researchers talk about the spread of obesity through your social network)  moralizes it (says that it is a lack of self-control)  affects how we treat people  individualization of the problem  blames the person  says that it is a lifestyle choice  blames mostly the mothers (in the case of obesity)  toxic environment- instead of thinking of bad choices, say that it is the environment that children are growing up in  conflating overweight with obese  BMI is not an effective measure
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