HLTC02H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Social Forces, Fosterage, Public Health

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
Health Studies
Midterm Review
Week 1: Introduction Analyzing Women’s Health in Social and
Historical Context
1. Understand health care systems as sites in which dynamic (gendered,
raced, classed) relations of power are both transformed and reinscribed
2. Identify multiple entry points for examining relationship between women
and health: women as providers and users of services, as targets of health
policy and interventions, as activists, mediators and critics
3. Understand the critique of a too-narrow focus on women as child-bearers and
rearers in international health initiatives as instrumentalist,
imperialistic, and negligent of women’s broader rights and needs
4. Explain and illustrate the particular contributions of a) historical and b)
ethnographic approaches to analyzing women and health
5. Describe how political and social forces can shape scholarly research and
health care systems, using examples
Article: Skirting the Issue Women and International Health in Historical
Perspective by Anne-Emanuelle Birn
Critique of narrow focus on reproductive & maternal health in international
health neglect of broader determinants of women’s health (political,
economic and social for instance)
Historical context: late 19th century onwards mothers & infants as objects of
public health interventions
Gendered differences in rates of infestation linked to (re)productive roles
Males as children defectated in multiple locations so minimal
prevalence of hookworm but as they grow older and work as field
labourers, they defectte in one spot that leads to infection, companies
do not provide shoes or latrines unfortunately
Females were more infected earlier in life due to defectating in one
location so as to stay close to home but with growing age and
responsibility of chores, given shoes to work, and thus leads to
lowered infection rates
Failure to advocate for latrine-construction by landowners: existing socio-
economic order reinforced
Health promotion campaigns invoked Mexican masculinity, American morality
(individual responsibility)
From 1932 middle-class women especially trained to staff newly established
Sanitary Units
Maternal & infant health monitored via home visits
Modernizing intimate practices and extending reach of biomedical surveillance
Rockefeller interventions created and exacerbated hierarchies of knowledge,
profession and social class
Consistent with modernization goals of Mexican state
Instrumental use of midwives in absence of trained medical & nursing
Midwives “a grave danger” , blamed for high infant morality rates
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