A Reader in Medical Anthropology: Theoretical Trajectories, Emergent Realities / Edition 1

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A Reader in Medical Anthropology: Theoretical Trajectories, Emergent Realities brings together essays that represent key themes in the vibrant field of medical anthropology: its theoretical legacy; phenomenologies of illness and narrative, body and experience; biological citizenship; the biotechnical embrace; the new medical biosciences; global health and medicine; postcolonial power relations and the humanitarian challenges of the contemporary world.

This ground-breaking reader brings together a vital set of theoretical traditions that are directly responsive to emergent realities in clinical medicine, biomedical science, global health, humanitarian intervention, global politics, and everyday life.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"The impressive scope of this wonderful reader, drawing on its editors' immense collective experience, offers a marvelous reframing of the foundational debates in twentieth-century medical anthropology, including both the full range of canonical readings but also several texts that should be canonical. It links these debates to a wide range of contemporary work, serving as much as an introduction to the discipline’s future as to its past."
Lawrence Cohen, University of California, Berkeley

"This collection is distinctive for its range, depth, and most of all for its taste in theoretical ingenuity and the most compelling, memorable writing in contemporary medical anthropology."
George Marcus, University of California, Irvine

"A Reader in Medical Anthropology is uniquely successful in assembling seminal publications representing the century-long history of medical anthropology. It is the first collection to successfully combine the diverse perspectives, epistemologies, and topical interests of contemporary medical anthropology with its intellectual wellsprings."
Allan Young, McGill University

"This collection of classic and innovative essays adds lustre and new, surprising facets to the anthropology of medicine. It crystallizes the most important and compelling cultural analysis of human disease and social suffering, personal trauma, and global insecurity."
Warwick Anderson, University of Sydney

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Byron J. Good is Professor of Medical Anthropology, Depart­ment of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Professor in the Department of Anthropol­ogy, Harvard University. 

Michael M. J. Fischer is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Sarah S. Willen is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University. She has been an NIMN Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and has taught in the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University.

Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good is Professor of Social Medicine, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and in the Department of Sociology, Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

About the Editors xiii

Introduction 1

Part I Antecedents 7

Introduction 9

1 Massage in Melanesia W. H. R. Rivers 15

2 The Notion of Witchcraft Explains Unfortunate Events E. E. Evans-Pritchard 18

3 Muchona the Hornet, Interpreter of Religion Victor Turner 26

4 The Ojibwa Self and Its Behavioral Environment Irving A. Hallowell 38

5 The Charity Physician Rudolf Virchow 47

6 The Role of Beliefs and Customs in Sanitation Programs Benjamin Paul 50

7 Introduction to Asian Medical Systems Charles Leslie 55

8 Medical Anthropology and the Problem of Belief Byron J. Good 64

Part II Illness and Narrative, Body and Experience 77

Introduction 79

9 Medicine's Symbolic Reality: On a Central Problem in the Philosophy of Medicine Arthur M. Kleinman 85

10 Elements of Charismatic Persuasion and Healing Thomas J. Csordas 91

11 The Thickness of Being: Intentional Worlds, Strategies of Identity, and Experience Among Schizophrenics Ellen Corin 108

12 The Concept of Therapeutic 'Emplotment' Cheryl Mattingly 121

13 Myths/Histories/Lives Michael Jackson 137

14 The State Construction of Affect: Political Ethos and Mental Health Among Salvadoran Refugees Janis Hunter Jenkins 143

15 Struggling Along: The Possibilities for Experience among the Homeless Mentally Ill Robert Desjarlais 160

Part III Governmentalities and Biological Citizenship 175

Introduction 177

16 Dreaming of Psychiatric Citizenship: A Case Study of Supermax Confinement Lorna A. Rhodes 181

17 Biological Citizenship: The Science and Politics of Chernobyl-Exposed Populations Adriana Petryna 199

18 Human Pharmakon: Symptoms, Technologies, Subjectivities João Biehl 213

19 The Figure of the Abducted Woman: The Citizen as Sexed Veena Das 232

20 Where Ethics and Politics Meet: The Violence of Humanitarianism in France Miriam Ticktin 245

Part IV The Biotechnical Embrace 263

Introduction 265

21 The Medical Imaginary and the Biotechnical Embrace: Subjective Experiences of Clinical Scientists and Patients Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good 272

22 Where It Hurts: Indian Material for an Ethics of Organ Transplantation Lawrence Cohen 284

23 "Robin Hood" of Techno-Turkey or Organ Trafficking in the State of Ethical Beings Aslihan Sanal 300

24 Quest for Conception: Gender, Infertility, and Egyptian Medical Traditions Marcia C. Inhorn 319

25 AIDS in 2006: Moving toward One World, One Hope? Jim Yong Kim Paul Farmer 327

Part V Biosciences, Biotechnologies 331

Introduction 333

26 Dr. Judah Folkman's Decalogue and Network Analysis Michael M. J. Fischer 339

27 Beyond Nature and Culture: Modes of Reasoning in the Age of Molecular Biology and Medicine Hans-Jörg Rheinberger 345

28 Immortality, In Vitro: A History of the HeLa Cell Line Hannah Landecker 353

29 A Digital Image of the Category of the Person Joseph Dumit 367

30 Experimental Values: Indian Clinical Trials and Surplus Health Kaushik Sunder Rajan 377

Part VI Global Health, Global Medicine 389

Introduction 391

31 Medical Anthropology and International Health Planning George M. Foster 394

32 Anthropology and Global Health Craig R. Janes Kitty K. Corbett 405

33 Mot Luuk Problems in Northeast Thailand: Why Women's Own Health Concerns Matter as Much as Disease Rates Pimpawun Boonmongkon Mark Nichter Jen Pylypa 422

34 The New Malaise: Medical Ethics and Social Rights in the Global Era Paul Farmer 437

35 Humanitarianism as a Politics of Life Didier Fassin 452

Part VII Postcolonial Disorders 467

Introduction 469

36 Amuk in Java: Madness and Violence in Indonesian Politics Byron J. Good Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good 473

37 The Political Economy of 'Trauma' in Haiti in the Democratic Era of Insecurity Erica James 481

38 Contract of Mutual (In)Difference: Governance and the Humanitarian Apparatus in Contemporary Albania and Kosovo Mariella Pandolfi 496

39 Darfur through a Shoah Lens: Sudanese Asylum Seekers, Unruly Biopolitical Dramas, and the Politics of Humanitarian Compassion in Israel Sarah S. Willen 505

40 The Elegiac Addict: History, Chronicity, and the Melancholic Subject Angela Garcia 522

Index 540

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