Anthropology Lecture Notes for Feb. 2 & 4
Anthropology Lecture Notes for Feb. 2 & 4
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lindsay Notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at a university taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 31 views.
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Date Created: 02/06/15
Maintaining Health amp Coping with Illness Medical Anthropology Medical System Beliefs practices and knowledge for diagnosing and treating sickness All societies have a medical system Medical Anthropology Studies the social cultural and biological aspects of health and sickness from a crosscultural perspective Different societies perceive and experience ailments and pathologies in different ways Difference societies have different explanations as to how and why illnesses and ailments occur Different societies classify illnesses differently use different labels Ethnomedicine vs Biomedicine Illness vs disease Ethnomedicine culturally speci c medical systems in nonWestern societies 0 These systems and practitioners are alluded to by a number of terms one most common as healers o Emphasize social and cultural factors in diagnosing and treating illness 0 Systems usually understand illness and ailment in a speci c cultural setting almost always is understood as a somatic bodily expression of a fundamental imbalance or lack of harmony between humans and supernatural o Illness is the perception of pathology in a speci c culture I Perceived as a social issue 0 Treatment is focused on restoring that harmony or balance between humans and the supernatural 0 Coming down with an ailment almost never is understood from the vantage point of biology Biomedicine refers to medical system dominating Western societies 0 Practitioners are doctors and physicians that attach primary explanatory power to biological pathogens physiological imbalances and diagnosistreatment of disease 0 Downplays role of culture and social relationships in diagnosing and treating illness 0 Distinction deeply rooted in Western European thought between ailments of the mind and ailments of the body Ethnomedicine Biomedicine And Inequality 1 Culture is important but poor health is not only the result of culture not a culturalist approach i People are ill because they view illness from the vantage point of their culture often don t accept biomedicine 2 Also important are the broader contexts of inequality that lead to poor health focus of critical medical anthropology o Pervade by ethnic social and economic inequalities which all lead to poor health throughout the globe ex no access to healthcare due to pOVerty When medical anthropologists focus their attention on speci c diseases they try to do 2 things 0 Respect and understand ethnomedical systems and how people think about disease 0 Understand how biomedicine might work in curing severe health conditions Blaming culture for medical conditions is unacceptable from vantage point of medical anthropologists Case Study HIVAIDS Sida in Haiti The context widespread poverty political instability low life expectancy highest rate of HIVAIDS outside subSaharan Africa Local understandings of illness 0 Illness sent by God easily cured non lifethreatening vs illness sent by Satan lifethreatening that will kill What to do when struck by an illness from Satan 0 Root cause is from a social relationship from another human 9 envy jealously hatred blame When biomedical and ethnomedical treatment fails and people die Haitians think it was sent by Satan or humans in alliance with Satan 24 Film AIDS In Africa Ethnomedical explanations are very plausible Questions to think about while watching this lm What are some of the ways that people in Africa are dealing with the spread of AIDS What might be some of the reasons why AIDS is spreading so quickly What might be some of the social consequences of mass mortality in sub Saharan Africa Zimbabwe 1 out of 8 adults are infected with HIVAIDS This location has been hit harder by AIDS than any other country Over 15 million of Zimbabwe s population have tested positive for HIVAIDS This could lead to a disappearance of a generation Majority of those infected are parents Illness carries shame and stigma excluding them from their society AIDS orphans children who have lost parents to AIDS Most women are forced into sex protection isn t available AIDS is not warned or taught to the people Zimbabwe people must change their sexual culture and behavior to help stop the ow of AIDS how men look at women and how women look at men
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