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HLTC05H3 Lecture Notes - Pharaoh, Caste System In India, Leprosy

Health Studies
Course Code
R Song

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HLTC05 Tuesday September 18 2012
Important contributions:
Medical anthro has had a critical role in recent years, historically anthro focus on non Western cultures,
this can help with illnesses in other countries because they don’t reflect the same model as Western.
Allows us to focus on individual as well not just group, we are active in the choices we make: defining
treating an coping with disease
Illness and disease is CULTURALLY DEFINED, not purly objective (blood count etc) but we recognize that
it can be subjectively measured in how a culture measures illness.
Response methods in cultures are changing. In biomedical we say you have this then take this medicine.
Changes in physical or social enviro changes. Theses stresses can increase susceptibility to pathogens
and change.
Historical contingency: all these things in your past can play a role in the now: ie) nutrition,
suceptability, etc
With med. Anthro we are interested in who is included AND excluded (behind the scenes) WHY are they
excluded from the analysis, not just the majority that are notices.
Recognizes that health is direct and indirect result of social influences around you (culture). Biology in
Political economics of health, how does in play a role? How health services are allocated different based
on wealth, how policy impact delivery of health services. A critical approach allows use to uncove hidden
causes of poor. We usually only look at the biological reason: you got bit therefore you get malaria. BUT
why was that insect there, or why was is infectious (water quality in area) etc
Macro and micro levels are analysized y M.A aswell
Singer(reading): social justice! System challenging praxis: this is the goal of CMA should be to effect
meaningful social change in their analysis. For example a sustaining project to help the community or
allocating fund to programs. Try to expose the relationship between social inequality and living and
working conditions. Growing inequalities.
Social inequality: we usually say we are not in a class system with much inequality. We attribute this
characteristic to ancient Egypt social stratification or Indian caste system: Pharoh, nobles, farmers,
slaves. We thin its just rigid constructs, extreme examples. But we still have: income inequality, political
power, social, gender, impoverishment, social discrimination, racism: this is structural violence
Critics of CMA: they say CMA doesn’t pay enough attention to bio& ecological factors. Interprative MA:
an individuals experience of illness. They say CMA depersonalizes the subject matter. (SLIDE)
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