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 articles from the key theoretical approaches in the field of medical anthropology as well as related science and technology studies. The editors' comprehensive introductions evaluate the historical lineages of these approaches and their value in addressing critical problems associated with contemporary forms of illness experience and health care.
• Presents a key selection of both classic and new agenda-setting articles in medical anthropology
• Provides analytic and historical contextual introductions by leading figures in medical anthropology, medical sociology, and science and technology studies
• Critically reviews the contribution of medical anthropology to a new global health movement that is reshaping international health agendas

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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


About the Editors.


Part I: Antecedents.


1. Massage in Melanesia (W. H. R. Rivers).

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

3. Muchona the Hornet, Interpreter of Religion (Victor Turner).

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

5. The Charity Physician (Rudolf Virchow).

6. The Role of Beliefs and Customs in Sanitation Programs (Benjamin Paul).

7. Introduction to Asian Medical Systems (Charles Leslie).

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

Part II: Illness and Narrative, Body and Experience.


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

10. Elements of Charismatic Persuasion and Healing (Thomas J. Csordas).

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

12. The Concept of Therapeutic "Emplotment" (Cheryl Mattingly).

13. Myths/Histories/Lives (Michael Jackson).

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

15. Struggling Along: The Possibilities for Experience Among the Homeless Mentally Ill (Robert Desjarlais).

Part III: Governmentalities and Biological Citizenship.


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

17. Biological Citizenship: The Science and Politics of Chernobyl-Exposed Populations (Adriana Petryna).

18. Human Pharmakon: Symptoms, Technologies, Subjectivities (João Biehl).

19. The Figure of the Abducted Woman: The Citizen as Sexed (Veena Das).

20. Where Ethics and Politics Meet: The Violence of Humanitarianism in France (Miriam Ticktin).

Part IV: The Biotechnical Embrace.


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

22. Where It Hurts: Indian Material for an Ethics of Organ Transplantation (Lawrence Cohen).

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

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

25. AIDS in 2006: Moving toward One World, One Hope? (Jim Yong Kim and Paul Farmer).

Part V: Biosciences, Biotechnologies.


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

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

28. Immortality, In Vitro: A History of the HeLa Cell Line (Hannah Landecker).

29. A Digital Image of the Category of the Person (Joseph Dumit).

30. Experimental Values: Indian Clinical Trials and Surplus Health (Kaushik Sunder Rajan).

Part VI: Global Health, Global Medicine.


31. Medical Anthropology and International Health Planning (George M. Foster).

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

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

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

35. Humanitarianism as a Politics of Life (Didier Fassin).

Part VII: Postcolonial Disorders.


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

37. The Political Economy of “Trauma” in Haiti in the Democratic Era of Insecurity (Erica James).

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

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

40. The Elegiac Addict: History, Chronicity, and the Melancholic Subject (Angela Garcia).


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