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ANTH101 Week 6

by: JJ Kett

ANTH101 Week 6 ANTH101013

JJ Kett
GPA 3.5

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Chapter 4 Notes for Exam 2
Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
Dettwyler,Katherine A
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by JJ Kett on Sunday October 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH101013 at University of Delaware taught by Dettwyler,Katherine A in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology in Anthropology at University of Delaware.

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Date Created: 10/16/16
10/3/16 ANTH101­013 Chapter 4: Medical, Nutritional, and Reproductive Anthropology  Medical Anthropology o We can divide the equation of human health and medical care into:  Ultimate causes  Proximate causes  The natural coping mechanisms of the body  The cultural coping mechanism of the individual and/or group o Western Biomedicine – tends to focus on proximate causes, with therapies aimed  at counteracting the proximate causes  Antibiotics, vaccines  Focuses on immediate source of the problem most of the time (the bacteria or virus), not what may have caused it  We have tried to eradicate some illnesses  Smallpox eradication campaign in the 1930s – was successful  Poleo – not entirely clear from everywhere in the world yet, but  close o Traditional Medicine – tends to focus on the ultimate causes, with therapies aimed at strengthening the natural coping mechanisms of the body  Supernatural intervention; “healers” in tribes using the power of the  supernatural  Many, many traditional methods exist (endless amounts) all around the  world  Healing Specialist – herbalist/pharmacist, bonesetters/orthopedists,  physical therapists, shamans  *note: popular conceptions of “witch doctors” are inaccurate and  misleading due to stereotypes  Some herbs hold the same chemical makeup as medicine we use –  some tea has the same chemicals and effect as aspirin (although  not quite as strong)  Shaman – uses trance to enter the spirit realm and speak to the  dead/encounter spirits to help heal people  Can be male or female as tradition is taught from one shaman to  another  Learning requires face­to­face, one­on­one contact, and  incorporates language as well as tradition and culture  There CANNOT be a solitary shaman – they are always in service  to their tribe  “soul calling” – try to heal the soul, not directly attack and heal the illness o “Doctors are good at disease, but shamans are good with  the soul” o Life span and life expectancy – entirely different concepts!  Typical life span – how long a typical member of the species/society lives; for a human, the typical life span is 60­65 years WITHOUT access to  modern medical care  Populations with short life expectancies are those in which infants and  young children often die, skewing the average to a lower age  Nutritional Anthropology o Primates are generally omnivores and eat a wide variety of foods which helps  prevent nutritional deficiencies o Women’s breasts produce milk for children  The milk’s main purpose is to keep the infant healthy, as well as provide  adequate nutrition needed for normal brain growth and immune system  development  Based on research, humans should breastfeed for at least 2.5 years and up  to a maximum of 7 (based on science, not our cultural standards) o Physiological breastfeeding – nursing several times an hour, including at night, to  establish an adequate milk supply in the first four months  Breasts monitor how much milk to produce based on how often the child  feeds; if you don’t do it enough, you won’t produce enough milk  Endocrine  Autocrine control  After 4 months of breastfeeding, a shift happens in the mother’s  body from endocrine to autocrine, where her breasts will start to  replace the milk the baby removed, regardless of how often it feeds  This is a good example of how culture can interfere with  biological/physiological processes, since women do not breastfeed  anywhere close to as often as they should due to cultural standards  and shaming  “Hormonal grieving” – in the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptiveness  Era, the only time a woman would not breastfeed is if the baby died  As a result of not breastfeeding, hormones in the woman return to  pre­pregnancy levels, so she does not have the mothering  hormones to deal with the child  This is biological!! It will happen to all mothers who do not  breastfeed, even if the baby lives 10/5/16 ANTH101­013 Chapter 4: Medical, Nutritional, & Reproductive Anthropology (continued)  Nutritional Anthropology (cont.) o solid foods – usually added to the diet around 6 months of age; breastfeeding can  continue for many years  physiological norm for weaning off breastfeeding is between 2.5­7 years  of age for humans  artificial infant formula is harmful to children, resulting in higher rates of  illness and death throughout life, impaired cognitive development, and  impaired immune system development  a mother who doesn’t breastfeed will have a different relation with her  child because of the lack of mothering hormones, especially oxytocin:  higher risk of reproductive cancers and osteoporosis later in life  due to not breastfeeding o Anthropology of food – examines dimensions of foods and meal times  Cultures vary in terms of what foods they eat, how often they eat, and how their meals are structured  Rice and other cereal grain groups provide the staple food in most  cuisines, modified by local, traditional combinations of flowerings and  spices  The world has over 50,000 edible plants, but three of them provide 60% of the world’s food energy intake  Rice, wheat, and corn  In many parts of the world, people eat with their hands (usually their right, as their left is used for wiping and other personal hygiene) o Water – finding adequate supplies of safe drinking water is a critical issue in  many parts of the world still today  Three chief sources of water pollution are: (1) industrial wastes, (2)  sewage, and (3) agricultural chemicals and wastes  “Water Under Attack” documentary – about fracking’s effect on water  supply  Releases gases into local water supply enough for you to be able to light the water on fire – right here in the US!! o Problems of under­ and over­nutrition affect MANY populations  Malnutrition – the underlying cause of death for about 3.1 million children each year  Caused by inadequate food supply OR inadequate nutrition supply  from available food  Vitamin A deficiency – leads to susceptibility to respiratory infections and can ultimately lead to blindness if not treated  Iodine deficiency – leads to a goiter (large, swollen lump in throat)  Prevent iodine deficiency through the use of iodized table salt –  makes sure we have adequate amounts in our diet 10/7/16 ANTH101­013 Chapter 4: Medical, Nutritional, and Reproductive Anthropology (cont.)  Nutritional Anthropology (cont.) o Under­ and over­nutrition (cont.)  Zinc deficiency – results in delayed puberty in boys  Maternal nutrition  “Maternal nutrition is crucial not just for the mother’s own  survival, but for her child’s chances of survival and development,”  – the Lancet  Kwashiorkor – when someone has plenty of food to eat, consumes an  adequate amount, but the food consumed doesn’t supply an adequate  amount of protein  Causes symbolic look of skinny child (almost looks malnourished)  with round, swollen belly, and sometimes face/other parts of the  body (swollen with fluid)  Too much protein given to them, however, will kill them because  the body is not used to it  Undernutrition in teenage years – can lead to heart disease  Teens who starve themselves can raise their risk of heart disease  later in life by 33%  Anorexia nervosa = culture­bound symptom; it is only confined to  cultures where girls (and guys) are expected to be skinny in order  to be attractive/liked  Over­nutrition  Obesity is already a huge public health issue in the US, and is a  growing problem around the world as populations become more  developed and establish a more “Western” diet o “more developed” tends to lead to a more sedentary  lifestyle = less physical activity  Reproductive Anthropology – the study of the aspects of human reproduction and how  the culture and biology interact o Reproductive anthropologists study patterns of fecundity and fertility, as well as  the cultural meanings assigned to menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth and  childrearing  Fecundity – physically able and ready to have children  Fertility – how many children you have o Many anthropologists are critical of the high levels of medical interventions used  in childbirths in North American hospitals  They don’t improve mother­infant outcomes, and they often interfere with  bonding and breastfeeding  Such practices include:  Analgesics and anesthetics during labor  Laboring on your back (most natural way is standing up, but on  your back is easier for the doctor)  No food or drink while in labor  Episiotomies – cutting the vaginal opening to make space for the  baby, and sewing back up a bit tighter (basically just for sexual  pleasure of husband)  Immediate cutting of umbilical cord (cuts of oxygen supply  immediately)  Any separation of mother and infant directly after birth  Suctioning a baby’s airways to get them to start breathing  Any bathing, hatting, or formula feeding o Physiological child spacing for humans would be 6­7 years without cultural  intervention  Each child breastfeeds for several to many years, and would not have to  share the resources of parents with other siblings too soon o Populations have used a variety of cultural resources to affect reproduction and to  reduce fertility, including late marriage, postpartum sex taboos, lactational  amenorrhea, contraception, abortion, and infanticide (killing an unwanted child) o The value of a child to a society depends on its subsistence mode and other facts  However, natural selection will always favor those who have the most  surviving children


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