Medical Anthropology A Biocultural Approach

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-11-08
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Medical Anthropology: A Biocultural Approach, Third Edition, offers an accessible and contemporary overview of this rapidly expanding field. For each health issue examined in the text, the authors first present basic biological information and then expand their analysis to include evolutionary, historical, and cross-cultural perspectives on how these issues emerged and are understood. Medical Anthropology considers how a biocultural approach can be applied to more effective prevention and treatment efforts and underscores medical anthropology's potential to improve health around the world.

Author Biography

Andrea S. Wiley is Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington.

John S. Allen is Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington.

Table of Contents

A Biocultural Approach to Medical Anthropology
What Is Distinctive about This Text
What Is New in This Edition
Outline of the Book

Chapter 1. Introduction: A Biocultural Approach to Medical Anthropology
What Is Anthropology?
The Development of Medical Anthropology
What Is Medical Anthropology?
The Culture Concept
A Biocultural Perspective
Looking Ahead

Chapter 2. Anthropological Perspectives on Health and Disease
Definitions of Health
The Locus of Health: The Body and Society
Biological/Medical Normalcy
Evolutionary Perspectives on Health
Cultural Approaches in Medical Anthropology

Chapter 3. Healers and Healing
Culture and Healing Systems
Recruitment: How Healers Become Healers
Alternative and Complementary Medicines
When Biomedicine Is Alternative Medicine
Alternative Biomedicines
Placebo and Nocebo

Chapter 4. Diet and Nutrition in Health and Disease
Fundamentals of Nutrition
How Are Dietary Reference Intakes Constructed?
Digestive Physiology
An Evolutionary Approach to Nutrition
Nutrition and Contemporary Chronic Diseases
Lactose Intolerance
Celiac Disease

Chapter 5. Child Growth and Health
Life History Theory
Gestation: The First 38 Weeks of Growth and Development
Small but Healthy?
Is Bigger Better?
Sex, Gender, Growth, and Health
Environmental Toxins and Growth
Puberty and the Onset of Adolescence
Teenage Pregnancy in the United States

Chapter 6. Reproductive Health in Biocultural Context
Medicalization of Women's Health and Reproductive Health
Premenstrual Syndrome
Determinants of Fertility
Falling Sperm Counts: Environmental Causes of Potential Male Reproductive Health Issues
Female Genital Cutting
Bed-sharing and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer Risk

Chapter 7. Aging
The Aging Body
Physiological Theories of Aging
Evolutionary Theories of Aging
The Aging Brain
Extending Life? Caloric Restriction and an Okinawa Case Study
Health, Illness, and the Cultural Construction of Aging

Chapter 8. Infectious Diseases: Pathogens, Hosts, and Evolutionary Interplay
Koch's Postulates
Taxonomy of Infectious Disease
How Pathogens Spread
Human Defenses against Pathogens
The Immune Response: A Brief Overview
Human-Pathogen Co-Evolution
Malaria: A Post-Agricultural Disease
Evolutionary Changes in Pathogens
Variation in Pathogen Virulence
Allergies and Asthma: Relationship to Infectious Disease Exposure?

Chapter 9. Globalization, Poverty, and Infectious Disease
Emergent and Resurgent Diseases
Social Transformations, Colonialism, and Globalizing Infections
Colonialism and Disease in the Tropics
Colonialism's Health Legacy
Climate Change and Emerging/Resurging Diseases
Dams and Infectious Disease
Tuberculosis: Emerging and Resurging
HIV/AIDS: A New(ish) Disease

Chapter 10. Stress, Social Inequality, and Race and Ethnicity: Implications for Health Disparities
Biology of the Stress Response
Why Is Stress Different for Humans?
Stress and Biological Normalcy
Stress and Health
Inequality, Stress, and Health
Race and Ethnicity and Health in the United States

Chapter 11. Mental Health and Illness
The Medical Model in Biocultural Context
Culture-Bound Syndromes
Eating Disorders
ADHD and Culture
Mood Disorders

Epilogue The Relevance of Medical Anthropology
What Can I Do Next If I Am Interested in Medical Anthropology?


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