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Medical Anthropology and the World System: A Critical Perspective

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Medical anthropology is one of the youngest and most dynamic of the various subdisciplines within anthropology. Critical medical anthropology has evolved into one of the major perspectives through which faculty and students study the field. It examines health-related issues in precapitalist indigenous and state societies, capitalist societies, and postrevolutionary of socialist-oriented societies. While critical medical anthropology draws heavily on neo-Marxian, critical, and world systems theoretical ...

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Overview

Medical anthropology is one of the youngest and most dynamic of the various subdisciplines within anthropology. Critical medical anthropology has evolved into one of the major perspectives through which faculty and students study the field. It examines health-related issues in precapitalist indigenous and state societies, capitalist societies, and postrevolutionary of socialist-oriented societies. While critical medical anthropology draws heavily on neo-Marxian, critical, and world systems theoretical perspectives, it attempts to incorporate the theoretical contributions of other systems in medical anthropology, including biocultural or medical ecology, ethnomedical approaches, cultural constructivism, poststructuralism, and postmodernism. This is the first textbook to incorporate this perspective.

The first part provides the reader with a discussion of the central concepts in, and the development and scope of, medical anthropology, as well as the critical perspective employed. The second part explores health and the environment as well as the social origins of specific health problems. The diversity of medical systems in different societies is highlighted in the third part. Finally, part four argues for a merger of theory and social action.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This text for introductory undergraduate medical anthropology classes relies heavily on the perspective of critical medical anthropology. Topics include the relation between health and the environment in a variety of societies; the social origins of specific health problems; medical systems created by both indigenous, archaic states and modern societies; and an argument for a merger of theory and social action that will serve groups that are subordinate to ruling elites and transnational corporations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897894241
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/1997
  • Pages: 288
  • Lexile: 1510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
I What Is Medical Anthropology About? 1
1 Medical Anthropology: Central Concepts and Development 3
2 Theoretical Perspectives in Medical Anthropology 20
II The Social Origins of Disease and Suffering 37
3 Health and the Environment: From Foraging Societies to the Capitalist World System 39
4 Homelessness in the World System 60
5 Legal Addictions, Part I: Demon in a Bottle 73
6 Legal Addictions, Part II: Up in Smoke 102
7 Illicit Drugs: Self-Medicating the Hidden Injuries of Oppression 125
8 AIDS: A Disease of the Global System 159
III Medical Systems in Social Context 189
9 Medical Systems in Indigenous and Precapitalist State Societies 191
10 Biomedical Hegemony in the Context of Medical Pluralism 209
IV Toward an Equitable and Healthy Global System 229
11 The Pursuit of Health as a Human Right: Health Praxis and the Struggle for a Healthy World 231
Bibliography 245
Index 271
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