Social Lives of Medicines

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Overview

The focus of this book is medicines (swallowed, injected, rubbed on), as understood by anthropologists concerned solely with their social uses. The text begins with examples of a mother medicating a child in various cultural contexts and ends with a broad review of the complex elements that determine the production and use of medicines. Since 1993, Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology has offered researchers and instructors monographs and edited collections of leading scholarship in one of the most lively and popular subfields of cultural and social anthropology. Beginning in 2002, the CSMA series presents theme booksworks that synthesize emerging scholarship from relatively new subfields or that reinterpret the literature of older ones. Designed as course material for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and for professionals in related areas (physicians, nurses, public health workers, and medical sociologists), these theme books will demonstrate how work in medical anthropology is carried out and convey the importance of a given topic for a wide variety of readers. About 160 pages in length, the theme books are not simply staid reviews of the literature. They are, instead, new ways of conceptualizing topics in medical anthropology that take advantage of current research and the growing edges of the field.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...fascinating...important..." Jonathan B. Imber, Wellesley College, American Journal of Sociology
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Susan Reynolds Whyte is Professor at the Institute of Anthropology of the University of Copenhagen.

Sjaak van der Geest is Professor of Medical Anthropology at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam.

Anita Hardon is Professor and Director of the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
I Introduction
1 An anthropology of materia medica 3
II The consumers
2 Mothers and children: the efficacies of drugs 23
3 Villagers and local remedies: the symbolic nature of medicines 37
4 Women in distress: medicines for control 50
5 Sceptical consumers: doubts about medicines 63
III The providers
6 Drug vendors and their market: the commodification of health 79
7 Pharmacists as doctors: bridging the sectors of health care 91
8 Injectionists: the attraction of technology 104
9 Prescribing physicians: medicines as communication 117
IV The strategists
10 Manufacturers: scientific claims, commercial aims 133
11 Health planners: making and contesting drug policy 146
V Conclusion
12 Anthropologists and the sociality of medicines 163
Notes 172
References 177
Subject index 194
Index of authors 198
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