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Week 1 readings: Good, Kleinman, Miner


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTC61H3
Professor
Peter

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WEEK 1: A READER IN MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY pp.1-6
Introduction
Managing the human body, treating illness, and providing care for those who suffer
Important alternatives to biomedical conceptualizations of health and healing, and by the religious
and spiritual traditions drawn on by individuals and communities throughout the life cycle and in
times of crisis
**medical anthropology thus deals with many of the most vital issues that define what it means to
be human
Mortgaging the future to pay for treatments
**this reader is intended to theoretically engage writing in medical anthropology
“emergent realities-new biotechnology, new epidemics, new forms of postcolonial disorders
Medical anthropology emerged as a distinctive subdiscipline within social anthropology in the
1950s
Research focused on poverty and unequal distribution of disease and access to medical care
Part 1: Antecedents: standing in for a large body of work from early 20th century anthropology on
illness and healing in small, non-literate societies
Part 2: Illness and Narrative, Body and Experience: representing what has become known as
interpretive or meaning-centered medical anthropology (symbolic studies)
Part 3: Governmentalities and Biological Citizenship: represents the coming of age of a body of
work in medical anthropology that grew out of these influences
Part 4: The Biotechnical Embrace: exploring both classic and unexpected sites of the emergence
of the medical imaginary and the powerful force of the biosciences and biotechnical therapeutics
in managing fundamental issues of life, birth, and death in late modernity
Part 5: Biosciences, Biotechnologies: more explicitly links writing from the history, philosophy,
sociology, and anthropology of science to medical anthropology
Part 6: Global Health, Global Medicine: medical anthropology working in international public
health with the emergence of a new global health movement at the opening of the twenty first
century
Part 7: Postcolonial Disorders: represents another potential future for medical anthropology,
bearing twofold significance; referring both to a theoretical orientation and to a constellation of
phenomena in which medical anthropologists are increasingly engaged
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