Exploring Medical Anthropology / Edition 3

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This widely adopted text is a concise and engaging introduction to the field that presents competing theoretical perspectives in a balanced fashion, highlighting points of conflict and convergence.

Written in an accessible, jargon-free language, Exploring Medical Anthropology’s concise length leaves room for instructors to supplement it with monographs of their own choosing. Concrete cases and the author’s personal research experiences are utilized to explain some of the discipline’s most important insights; such as that biology and culture matter equally in the human experience of disease and that medical anthropology can help to alleviate human suffering. An extensive glossary facilitates student learning of concepts and terms, while a list of suggested readings at the end of each chapter and an extensive bibliography encourage further exploration.

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Editorial Reviews

Offers a concise and readable introduction to medical anthropology, focusing on ethnographic material from Andean South America and the US. Emphasizes the equal importance of biology and culture in the human experience of disease, the political economy as a primary epidemiological factor, and the use of ethnography and medical anthropology to understand and alleviate human suffering and disease. The author's experiences observing and participating in Peruvian shamanism make for interesting reading. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205693511
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/14/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 163,335
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Joralemon is professor of anthropology at Smith College. He received his BA from Oberlin College (1974) and his MA and PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (1983). He is the author of Exploring Medical Anthropology (1999, third edition 2010) and the coauthor (with Douglas Sharon) of Sorcery and Shamanism: Curanderos and Clients in Northern Peru (1993). Among his published articles on Peruvian shamanism is the widely cited essay, “The Selling of the Shaman and the Problem of Informant Legitimacy” (Journal of Anthropological Research, 1990). His present work focuses on the anthropology of organ transplantation and medical ethics. His article “Organ Wars: The Battle for Body Parts” (Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 1995) won the Polgar Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology. His most recent publications, on the medical ethics of financial compensation for organ donors, appear in the Journal of Medical Ethics (2001) and The Hastings Center Report (2003). An article on the concept of medical futility was published in the Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics (2002).
At Smith College, Professor Joralemon teaches Medical Anthropology, Native South Americans, Dying and Death, and a seminar on Anthropology and Medical Ethics

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 What's So Cultural About Disease?
Culture in Medicine
Development of Medical Anthropology
Medical Anthropology Today
Summary: Placing Medical Anthropology Among the Social Sciences of Medicine
Suggested Readings
Chapter 2 Anthropological Questions and Methods in the Study of Sickness and Healing
Studying Shamans in Peru
Studying Medicine in the United States
Summary: The Anthropological Vision
Suggested Readings
Chapter 3: Recognizing Biological, Social and Cultural Interconnections: Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives on a Cholera Epidemic
Thinking About Epidemics
History and Biology of Cholera
Epidemiological Accounts of Peru's Cholera Epidemic
Evolution and the Ecological Framework
Cholera and the Evolutionary Framework
Medical Anthropology Embraces the Ecological/Evolutionary Model
Suggested Readings
Chapter 4 Expanding the Vision of Medical Anthropology: Critical and Interpretive Views of the Cholera Epidemic
Political-Economy of Cholera
Political-Economic vs. Ecological/Evolutionary Perspectives
Interpretive View of Cholera
Taking a Broader, Inclusive Perspective
Suggested Readings
Chapter 5 The Global Petri Dish
SARS: The First Global Epidemic of the 21st Century
One Health Ecology
Further Complications: The Threat of Bioterrorism
Suggested Readings
Chapter 6 Healers and the Healing Professions
Healing Roles: Organizing the Diversity
Authority of Healers
Authority in the Folk Health Sector: Position of Peruvian Curanderos
Authority in the Professional Health Care Sector: Case of Biomedicine
Challenges to Biomedical Authority
Authority of Biomedicine in Non-Western Countries
Suggested Readings
Chapter 7 Applying Medical Anthropology
Medical Anthropology in International Development: A Brief History
Work of Applied Medical Anthropologists in International Contexts
Applying Medical Anthropology in the United States
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Applied Anthropology Under Attack
Personal Reflections
Suggested Readings
Chapter 8: Anthropology and Medical Ethics
Medical Ethics: A Comparative Framework
Medical Ethics Beyond Biomedicine
Development of Bioethics in the United States
Social Sciences and Bioethics
Social Science: Out of the Closet
Suggested Readings
Chapter 9: Body, Self and Biotechnologies
Cross-Cultural Views of the Self
The Stem Cell Debate
“Baby” Pictures
Rights, Death and the Autonomous Self
Suggested Readings
Chapter 10: A Look Back and a Glance Ahead
Advantages of Medical Anthropology
Thinking Anthropologically about HIV/AIDS
Future Directions in Medical Anthropology
Academic and Professional Career Paths Related to Medical Anthropology
Suggested Readings
References Cited

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