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Medical Anthropology Week 1 Lecture Notes

by: Mikaela Faust

Medical Anthropology Week 1 Lecture Notes ANTH 3730

Marketplace > Middle Tennessee State University > Anthropology > ANTH 3730 > Medical Anthropology Week 1 Lecture Notes
Mikaela Faust
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About this Document

The intro notes for medical anthropology from Thursday, 08-25-16.
Medical Anthropology
Dr. Ida Fadzillah Leggett
Class Notes
Anthropology, medical




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mikaela Faust on Friday August 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 3730 at Middle Tennessee State University taught by Dr. Ida Fadzillah Leggett in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Medical Anthropology in Anthropology at Middle Tennessee State University.


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Date Created: 08/26/16
 Lecture Notes Thursday, August 25      Medical Anthropology: The study of biological and sociocultural factors that effect  health, disease, and illness now and in the past.  o It’s a fairly new discipline  Health­related issues are for more than narrow biological phenomenon:  o How we get sick, why we get sick, and what sickness means to us are all heavily  determined by cultural and social factors as well.   Methods:  o Traditional Immersion o Holistic Perspective o Emic (Insider) Perspective o Applied Orientation  Key Concepts:  o Epistemology: Discipline and methodology  o Ontology: Related to nature and existence  o Pathology: Typical behavior of a disease o Aetiology: The cause of a disease or illness o Bioculturalism: Intersection of biology and culture  For example, a disease vs. illness  Disease is an objective medical term  Illness is a feeling of not being normal or healthy, caused by a  psychological or spiritual imbalance.   Medical anthropologists seek to understand to help others see that health is rooted in:  o Cultural Connections o Social Connections o Human Biology  Naturalistic explanation of illness assumes that illness is due to impersonal, mechanistic  causes, and is purely biological and scientific.  o Examples: Humoral Pathology & Yin/Yang (both related to imbalance being the  cause of illness)   Personalistic explanation of illness is due to acts or wishes of other people or supernatural beings or forces.  o Example: Evil Eye  o Explains things that medical diagnoses can’t o Is a way to focus blame and find closure   The Three Bodies Model (Margaret Lock and Nancy Scheper­Hughes)  o Individual body  Lived experience/how you experience yourself  Example: you get sick o Social Body  How it is seen and used as a natural symbol   Example: relating thinness to health o Body Politic  The regulation, surveillance, and control of bodies in reproduction and  sexuality, work, leisure, etc. Usually by institutions.   You need to see the three levels of interaction between the biology and cultural. 


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