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Doing Health Anthropology: Research Methods for Community Assessment and Change

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Overview

What is the relationship between health, human nature, and human needs?
The impact of social change on communities?
The processes by which communities confront and overcome their health problems?
How do we study these health questions in new communities and become advocates for change?

These are critical questions in confronting the social causes of ill health, yet many health students do not have the appropriate training in the anthropological methods and techniques that help answer them. Christie Kiefer has written Doing Health Anthropology to prompt students to enter the community already prepared in these methods so that they can accurately ask and solve these important questions themselves.

Using this book as a guide, students learn to integrate cultural anthropology with health science and come to their own conclusions based on field research. The book includes common pitfalls to avoid when conducting interviews and observations, and ways to formulate and answer research questions, maintain field notes and other records, and correctly analyze qualitative data.

With the help of this text, practitioners and students alike will be able to integrate cultural anthropology methods of research into their health science investigations and community health initiatives.

For news and to learn more about how you can implement a community approach to building global health and social justice, visit

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Diane M Tomasic, EdD, RN (Slippery Rock University )
Description: This book describes the skills and attitudes needed to conduct anthropological research in community health.
Purpose: The purpose is to help health workers learn to use the tools of anthropological research to gain insight into the social causes of illness.
Audience: The target audience is anthropological researchers and students in the field. The author is an expert in the field, with 30 years of experience.
Features: Four broad areas are discussed. The first four chapters cover the philosophical foundation and concepts related to anthropological research. Chapters five through eight deal with the specifics of designing and conducting a research project. Chapters nine and ten cover the theory of needs and theory of hope as related to anthropological research. The final chapters cover action research, teaching health anthropology, and professionalism.
Assessment: This book should be very useful to the target audience since it covers the basics of anthropological research. It does not replace a basic introduction to research textbook.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Diane M Tomasic, EdD, RN(Slippery Rock University )
Description: This book describes the skills and attitudes needed to conduct anthropological research in community health.
Purpose: The purpose is to help health workers learn to use the tools of anthropological research to gain insight into the social causes of illness.
Audience: The target audience is anthropological researchers and students in the field. The author is an expert in the field, with 30 years of experience.
Features: Four broad areas are discussed. The first four chapters cover the philosophical foundation and concepts related to anthropological research. Chapters five through eight deal with the specifics of designing and conducting a research project. Chapters nine and ten cover the theory of needs and theory of hope as related to anthropological research. The final chapters cover action research, teaching health anthropology, and professionalism.
Assessment: This book should be very useful to the target audience since it covers the basics of anthropological research. It does not replace a basic introduction to research textbook.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826115577
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/20/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Christie W. Kiefer (PhD), is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, San Francisco.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Preface

1. Why Anthropology?

2. Positivism: The Laboratory Theory of Knowledge

3. The Naturalistic Theory of Knowledge: Anthropology

4. The Study of Real People in Natural Situations

5. Designing a Research Project

6. The Researcher in and Beyond the Community

7. Collecting Data

8. Analyzing Data

9. The Theory of Needs

10. Community Change: The Theory of Hope

11. Action Anthropology

12. Teaching Health Anthropology

13. Professionalism in Naturalistic Social Science

Appendix

References

Index

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