Medical anthropology

What is medical anthropology? What were the reasons for the emergence of medical anthropology in the 1950s and 1960s, and its growing subsequent prominence? What are the different theoretical perspectives that are presented in the readings for this module? Which one appeals to you the most, and why? What is the difference between illness, disease, and sickness? What are the various ways that meanings of symptoms can be understood? Discuss the personal and social meanings of illness, using examples.
Baer et al discuss medical systems of indigenous and precapitalist state societies. Discuss the indigenous theories of disease etiology that are covered in this chapter. Are any of these theories relevant today? Why or why not? In chapter 10, Baer et al discuss biomedical hegemony in the context of medical pluralism. What is biomedical hegemony? What is medical pluralism? Is this relevant to your life — explain your answer.
Scheper Hughes says the problem of infant mortality in the shantytown is a problem due to political economy, not medical technology. What does she mean by this? Lock’s article explores menopause in different cultures. What is the main point this article is making with regard to culture and health? Explore and explain how these anthropologists use their work to illustrate the relationship between culture and health? Which universal understandings are they challenging? The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down What is the central problem of this book? How does this book exemplify medical anthropology? What is the central problem of the book Dancing skeletons? How does this book exemplify medical anthropology? Compare and contrast this monograph with The Spirit Catches You.
AIDS and the political economy: Farmer says that one of the goals of his paper, Sending Sickness, was to call attention to the problems inherent in studying cultural meaning while it is taking shape. What does he mean by this? What are the problems that he encounters? Describe and analyze the “master paradigm” that Farmer says was at work for the Haitians he worked with to explain and link sickness to moral concerns and social relations. How is this related to the political economy (think back to Scheper-Hughes’ argument for the favela in Brazil).v