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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 - Colonialism Imperialism and Medicine - November 7.docx

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Tania Li

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November 7, 2013. Lecture 8 - Colonialism/Imperialism and Medicine  Relations between health and power  Global health and power  Critical discussion in anthropology on global health often focuses on how colonial power over health is still perpetuated or represented in a newer, postcolonial way Berry and Spanish Colonization  Speaks of Spanish colonization of South America 500 years ago; how is this relevant to studying maternal mortality now?  Provides a backdrop for how indigenous populations are seen and that can be related to current studies of maternal mortality  Spanish colonizers saw indigenous populations as a resource to be removed or exploited; still kind of seen in the relationship now between government and indigenous communities  Spanish is seen as a more prestigious language, indigenous people who don’t speak Spanish are already seen as lower o Creates classes o During colonization there was a three-tiered hierarchical class system:  Spain born, Spanish-speaking Spaniards  “Latinos”, Spanish-speaking, South American born, mixed race  Indigenous, not Spanish-speaking, not mixed, South American born  Violence, colonial history, and safe motherhood initiative o Migrant labour  connection to Spanish colonialism where indigenous people were expected to provide free labour as slaves for Spanish land owners and were therefore displaced in order to do this o Violence carried out specifically against women was like the kind of violence the state acted out upon indigenous people during the civil war/genocide of the 1980s o Failure of the state to treat indigenous people, particularly women, well and protect them from violence let alone being the cause of violence themselves  Seems ridiculous to take women to state hospitals when the state was the cause of so much suffering as recently as the 80s Colonialism and Imperialism  Colonialism: “The conquest and control of other people’s lands and goods”  Imperialism: a) global system for capitalist domination (Marxist/Leninist) b)process of political and/or economic domination of other people, their lands and natural resources  Megan Vaughan: Colonial Psychiatry in Africa o Pathologising representations of African societies common to different schools Deculturation theory o Colonial psychiatry and discourses of African-ness o Carothers and colleagues in 1930s Kenya: eugenics, anatomo-politics o Culturalist explanations from 1930s shaped by social anthropology o Shifting political/policy context: indirect rule, paternalistic interventions, anti- colonial movements Canadian Colonialism and Indigenous Health  Interventions linked to broader goals of Canadian sovereignty and assimilation of Indigenous peoples  Nursing station model expansion 1950s – 1970s  Impact of changing health technologies: moral and material Changing and “helping” communities in the name of humanitarian aid to primitive populations Discussion Questions  1. In what sense are Kaqchikel villagers “socialized to scarcity” (Farmer)? o People are chronically hungry and malnourished; selling medications out of his truck for digestive problems when pain and discomfort is from hunger rather than digestive issues; framing it as something medical/medicalizing it and interpreting
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