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ANTHROP 3HI3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Tiwi People, Commodification, Human Body

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Priscilla Medeiros
Study Guide

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Anthropology 3HI3 Exam
March 6th Lecture: Anthropology of the Body
1. Body = physical object composed of organs, fluids and functions.
a. Anthropologists: body = individuated experience of life.
b. Human body exists in social, physical, psychological, conceptual and cultural
c. Three Bodies Model: Individual, Social, Body Politic.
(1) The Individual Body = unique individual experience of health.
a. Shaped by: determinants of health
i. Social relationships
ii. Cultural norms
b. Illess aaties = eaple of the idiidual od
(2) The Social Body = symbol of the self, society and culture
a. hua od is teated as a iage of soiet
b. health knowledge + attitude towards the body = developed @ this level
c. human body has a social and physical reality
iii. influenced by: cultural traits, society, practices
d. Example: The Painted & Tattooed Body
iv. Australian Tiwi people: pait faes as a ite of passage ito adulthood
v. Samoans: tattoo bodies using sharpened bone/teeth = community status
e. The Importance of the Social Body = framework for perceiving and interpreting
physical and psychological experiences (way to understand society & its
(3) The Body Politic = ability to regulate populations (social body) and discipline
individual bodies
a. Expands number of social controls (e.g. policies & protocols) to regulate
individual bodies
b. Legal authorities for isolation and quarantine
c. Societies create & socialize the kind of bodies they want
d. Power & Controlling Populations: Fouaults appoah = management of society
by measuring social determinants of health
vi. Leads to medicalization of the body
2. Culture & Body = individuals embody the culture they live in
a. people are aware of other bodies through bodily sensations & perceptions
b. Emotions: affect body experience
3. Commodification of Body Parts
a. Individual bodies are turned into objects
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b. The body politic (i.e. governments) seek to control the supply of the body and its
c. Alters body image & sense of self
d. Commodification = product of ideas and knowledge that have an exchange value
e. History of Commodification:
i. Public dissections were common in the 19th century
ii. The Anatomy Act (1831): prohibited sale of dead bodies in UK
2. Transplants & Trade of Human Body Parts
a. Disease Perspective: organs are spare parts that make the body function
b. Illness Perspective: tasplats hages sese of self
c. ‘aises ethial uestios aout hat ostitutes ed of life o oet of
d. Transformation into a Commodity
i. Body parts are not commodities when they are fulfilling their original
ii. Human body = made up of reusable parts
iii. Growing demand for organ transplantation => transplant tourism
e. Who becomes a donor?
i. Most organs in Western countries come from deceased donors.
ii. Brain-death is required for organ transplants.
People may sell kidneys out of desperation (non-Western
f. The Practice of Transplant Technology
i. Major organ shortage crisis exists because trauma units are much more
effective and population is again rapidly.
ii. More than 50% of organs are now acquired from living donors because of
the growing need for organs.
3. Who owns the body?
a. Medical use of human bodies is justified by enhancing medical knowledge.
b. Body parts are commoditized when donated for purposes of exchange.
4. New Bodies of the Twentieth Century
a. (1) The Composite Body: refers to replacing a body part by implanting an
artificial organ or transplanting an organ from another person.
b. (2) The Cyborg Body: fusion of human beings and mechanical parts
(repairs/regenerates an injured or aging body).
i. Amy Purdy: prosthetic legs -> pro snowboarder
c. (3) The Virtual Body: refers to information of the body existing in cyberspace.
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March 13th Lecture: Anthropology of the Body (continued)
1. Embodiment = awareness of who we are (the self).
a. How social forces shape day-to-day experiences
b. Requires an understanding of the three bodies
c. Refers to the way individuals negotiate their everyday lives.
d. Oes udestadig of thei pesoal epeiees is ostatl hagig.
e. Embodiment is not about somatization, but the self.
f. Culture changes our bodies, as our bodies are necessary for the world; culture
changes the way we experience the world through our bodies.
2. Talking about Persons: embodiment provides a holistic framework for conceptualizing
a. The Self owns the body
b. Language plays an important role the embodied experience.
3. Phenomenology = study of human experience through qualitative methods, we
experience the body socially & physically
a. Used to understand embodiment
b. Phenomenology describes phenomena: what do I see? How do I feel? What do I
intend to do?
c. Phenomenological embodiment = starting point for exploring how language,
knowledge, society and religion effect people
d. Focuses on the way people perceive and experience the world
e. Body cannot be examined or measured in biological terms
f. Pheoeolog details peoples lies, oes & egageets
g. Concerned with the nature of experience and knowledge
h. Developed by Edmund Husserl
4. Phenomenological embodiment = starting point for exploring how language,
knowledge, society and religion effect persons.
a. Embodiment helps to understand culture & the self.
5. “tudig Eodiet or the Idividuals Perspetive
a. Collet the fist pesos poit of ie usig pheoeolog.
b. Requires self-reflexivity.
c. A way to connect with people about their illness experience.
6. Participant Observation: a method of data collection in which a research lives and
works closely with the people or groups under study.
7. Typology of the Participant Observer Roles:
i. Complete Participant
ii. Participant as Observer (becoming a part of the group under study)
iii. Observer as Participant (minimal involvement in group)
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