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What is Ethnomedicine?

What is Ethnomedicine?


School: Syracuse University
Department: Evolutionary Anthropology
Course: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Professor: M. schwarz
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Anthro, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology, and Introd to Cul Anthro
Cost: 50
Name: ANT 111, Final Exam Study Guide
Description: Complete Study Guide for the Final Exam, starting with Reproductive Health
Uploaded: 12/05/2016
4 Pages 6 Views 17 Unlocks

Final Exam Study Guide 

What is Ethnomedicine?

Reproductive Health 

∙ 1950’s coined the term “medical anthropology”

∙ Ethnomedicine: local medicalized systems

∙ Embodied knowledge: the knowledge and experience has about their  physical bodies

∙ Authoritative knowledge: may not be what is best in a current situation  but is the most powerful and is defaulted to

∙ Historical particularity within historical culture groups all have different  understandings of biomedicine because they have different histories ∙ When we understand the body as a machine we can look back into the origin  points and the collective imagination of people in Europe

∙ Related to the dichotomy between the mind and body

o If the body is a machine, it can function without conscious thought o There is still the influence of Christianity in western Europe


∙ Common to see doctors push back against the practice of midwifery in the  late 1800’s and early 1900’s

What technology gives people the chance to have children who wouldn't normally be able to?

∙ Reproductive rights was an important policy point for doctors to take care of ∙ If a woman has a cesarean section they cannot give birth naturally ever again ∙ Lithotomy position was developed originally to remove kidney stones, not to  give birth

∙ Twilight sleep: what started out as a way for women to be liberated from  the pain of childbirth If you want to learn more check out what are the three major alternate theories?

o Drug that removes all memories of childbirth

o Was thought to get rid of all pain of childbirth

o Lose self-control and awareness of what’s happening to themselves ∙ About 1% of women give birth with a midwife in the United States

Assistive Reproductive Technology (ARTs) 

∙ Gives people the chance to have children who wouldn’t normally be able to ∙ In-Vitro Fertilization: fertilization done outside of the body with multiple  embryos in petri dishes

What is Anthropomorphize?

o 25% of rounds of IVF result in a baby

∙ Surrogacy: having a mother carry someone else’s child

o Many surrogate mothers are different nationalities, lower class,  sometimes outside of the United States


∙ Illegal to buy abortion pills online If you want to learn more check out What is an ethnocentric?

∙ Selective reduction

∙ 45 million abortions per year worldwide

∙ 6% of illegal abortions are using pills that you would get in a clinic

∙ Abortion is illegal in Ireland, you could get jail time

Infant Mortality 

∙ Includes children who die before the first year of life

∙ 6.7 infant deaths per 1000 live births in the United States

Maternal Mortality 

∙ Many women die due to lack of access to healthcare in less developed areas  around the world

Norms and Laws 

∙ Socially agreed-upon standards and behaviors that shape our everyday lives ∙ Maintain orderly social life

∙ Can be formal or informal

∙ All societies have learned

∙ Usually are unwritten and learned unconsciously as children grow up within a  society

∙ If you break a norm, you’re not punished, they’re enforced informally ∙ When does a norm become a law? Why do norms become laws? ∙ All food manufacturers had three years from June 2015 to remove all  

transfatty acids from their products as a result of new discoveries ∙ When do laws become norms?

∙ The Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act  o Signed into law by Obama on October 28, 2009

o Expands to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or  disability

o Removes the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally  protected activity, like voting


∙ Internal vs external

∙ Rural to urban migration

o Mostly in the 20th century

o Go from rural setting to go find work in a rural setting

∙ Push-pull theory

o One factor will push a person or group out of one context and pull  them into another context Don't forget about the age old question of What are the forces Affecting Growth and Change?

o Cities attract people (employment and lifestyle reasons) is a pull factor o Lack of jobs and lifestyle choices are push factors

∙ Circular migration: people move in a regular pattern and on a regular basis  from one place to another

∙ Institutional migration: when people move for the purpose of education or  to get a job

∙ International migration: key migration in the U.S. since 1945 and 1965

∙ Chain migration: some people come to a new country to make way for  members of their family to join them over the next few years

∙ What is the Mexican children’s impression of the United States? Is it realistic? Religion vs. Spirituality 

∙ Human connection to nonhuman sacred or supernatural powers ∙ Religion

o Tends to be based on helping a group cope with events

o Helps a group feel a sense of unity and have a set of morals

o Rituals happen on a calendrical level

o Usually has a dogma based on a document or oral tradition

o Rituals based on elements of that story

o Decline in membership of mainstream religions in the U.S. since the  1950s

∙ Spirituality

o Increase in spirituality in the U.S. since the 1950s

o Feel like they have to make the connections themselves somehow o Individual If you want to learn more check out what is Hypothesis?

∙ Religious beliefs and practices are made to fit the society in which they are  embedded

∙ Movement from emphasis on mainline religions to individual spirituality ∙ Anthropomorphize: to make an inanimate object human


∙ People are seeking enlightenment instead of involvement in an organization ∙ Usually agnostic or atheist

∙ Not all forms of spirituality believe in a god

∙ Not seeking a connection to a particular god

∙ Seeking a connection to a nonhuman sacred or supernatural power ∙ New age spirituality: people harvest prayers and rituals from different  places around the world and combine them to bring them connection with the sacred We also discuss several other topics like Who is William James in science?

∙ Native Americans wrote up declarations of war against the new age  spiritualists

o They decimated Native American populations with disease and  warfare, destroyed their economies, took away their languages, etc. so all they have left are some of their religious practices

∙ New age spiritualists do things they don’t understand at times because they  take so many parts of their religion from different areas and don’t know how  to properly do rituals

o People have died because rituals have been malpracticed

Body Modification 

∙ Young men who went to sea came home with their bodies decorated ∙ Tattooed islanders from James Cook’s explorations would tattoo the  shipmates

∙ Tattooed women were a big draw at circuses and such

∙ More than 7 million Americans are tattooed

∙ Tattoo pain goes back to bloodletting rites of passage

∙ Ritual scarring as an ancient rite of passage Don't forget about the age old question of what is Explicit Costs?

∙ Physical form of people is molded and sculpted

∙ Women use makeup to enhance their looks

∙ Geisha is the Japanese ideal of womanhood

∙ Hindus paint their faces to indicate the god they believe in

∙ Irezumi Japanese body tattooing

∙ The body is an ideal canvas for self-expression and some people take it to  extremes

∙ With body art people can reinvent themselves and show off their true colors Expressive Culture 

∙ What is art?

o Folk art is decorative, fine are it aesthetic

∙ Fine art should be art for art’s sake, should not have any utilitarian function ∙ How art is defined affects the manner of who makes the art are classified ∙ It is a form of communication

∙ What constitutes art is culturally determined

∙ Anthropologists think art is the application of imagination, skill, and style to  matter, movement, and sound that goes beyond the purely practical ∙ Considers the process and the products and how it fits into a cultural context ∙ Brooklyn Museum of Art sued the city that its first amendment rights were  violated by Guiliani who had made the decision  

o People thought this situation was equal to a book burning

o People thought it was to make the artwork be able to be sold for more  money

∙ Giuliani stopped payments, museum sued, judge said he violated the first  amendment rights of the museum, Giuliani had to pay for the rest of the  exhibit

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