Medical Anthropology in Ecological Perspective

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-12-29
  • Publisher: Westview Pr

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Widespread awareness of emerging infectious diseases and global environmental change makes the ecological perspective of this premier teaching text for medical anthropology as relevant as ever. Integrating biocultural, environmental, and evolutionary approaches to the study of human health, this fifth edition is now thoroughly revised to reflect new developments in the field. Research by human biologists and paleopathologists illuminates the history and prehistory of disease, while the work of cultural and applied anthropologists addresses contemporary health issues. The fifth edition features five new profiles by guest contributors, all leading researchers on health and environment. New topics include community health and disease prevention in urban America; water-borne disease in Ecuador; iodine deficiency in the Himalaya; stress and demographic change in northern Siberia; and participatory action research in Costa Rica. Also included is updated and expanded consideration of refugee health, global aspects of HIV/AIDS, and careers in applied medical anthropology.

Author Biography

Ann McElroy is Associate Professor of Anthropology at State University of New York at Buffalo, where Patricia K. Townsend is a Research Associate Professor. Ann McElroy is Associate Professor of Anthropology at State University of New York at Buffalo, where Patricia K. Townsend is a Research Associate Professor.

Table of Contents

List of Profilesp. xiii
About the Authors and Contributorsp. xv
Preface to the Fifth Editionp. xvii
The Ecology of Health and Diseasep. 1
Previewp. 2
Studying Nepali Children: An Example of Medical Anthropologyp. 2
Environment, Culture, and Healthp. 7
Profile: Arctic Adaptationsp. 16
A Working Model of Ecology and Healthp. 28
Resourcesp. 31
Interdisciplinary Research in Health Problemsp. 33
Previewp. 34
The Nature of Collaborationp. 34
Bio-Environmental Datap. 37
Profile: Cannibal Mournersp. 42
Clinical Datap. 46
Epidemiological Datap. 49
Social and Cultural Datap. 53
Becoming a Medical Anthropologistp. 62
Profile: Learning Field Methods in Costa Ricap. 63
Fieldwork Ethicsp. 69
Medical Anthropology at Workp. 72
Conclusionsp. 79
Resourcesp. 80
Genes, Culture, and Adaptationp. 81
Previewp. 82
Human Variability and Adaptationp. 82
Adaptation Through Biological Evolutionp. 85
Skin Color and Adaptationp. 91
Evolution and Human Immune Systemsp. 92
Profile: Malaria and Agriculturep. 96
Evolution and Medicinep. 100
Physiological and Developmental Adaptationp. 103
Cultural Adaptationp. 108
Direct Medical Control Strategiesp. 110
Variability and Change in Cultural Systemsp. 113
Studying Adaptationp. 115
Profile: Local Differences in Iodine Deficiency Goiter in the Western Himalayap. 118
Studying Adaptation to Illness and Disabilityp. 124
Conclusionsp. 127
Resourcesp. 128
Changing Patterns of Disease and Healthp. 131
Previewp. 132
Culture as Environmentp. 133
The Study of Populationp. 134
Profile: Infant Survival in a Papua New Guinea Societyp. 136
Life and Death in Hunter-Gatherer Camps and Farming Villagesp. 143
Paleopathology: The Study of Disease in Prehistoryp. 148
Life and Death in the Preindustrial Cityp. 152
Profile: The Black Deathp. 153
Life and Death in Industrial Societyp. 157
Conclusionsp. 166
Resourcesp. 167
The Ecology and Economics of Nutritionp. 169
Previewp. 170
Human Foodways and Nutritional Needsp. 170
Subsistence by Hunting and Gatheringp. 173
Nutrition in Prehistoryp. 177
Profile: Dry Bones: Health in Southwestern Prehistoryp. 180
Subsistence in the Humid Tropicsp. 183
Agriculturep. 186
Profile: Famine in Ethiopiap. 193
Industrial Agriculturep. 198
The Global Epidemic of Malnutritionp. 201
Breast or Bottlep. 206
The Anthropology of Food and Cookingp. 209
All That Goes in the Mouth Is Not Foodp. 212
Conclusionsp. 214
Resourcesp. 214
Culture, Ecology, and Reproductionp. 217
Previewp. 218
Three Birth Storiesp. 218
Well-Being in Pregnancy: Biological and Social Factorsp. 224
Profile: Pregnancy Beliefs and Food Taboos in Malaysiap. 226
Care Providers in Pregnancy and Birthp. 230
Species-Specific Reproductive Patternsp. 237
Fecundity and Fertilityp. 242
Profile: Using Anthropological Methods to Understand Condom Use for STI Prevention in the Inner Cityp. 253
Reproduction and Social Support Systemsp. 259
Conclusionsp. 264
Resourcesp. 264
Stress, Illness, and Healingp. 267
Previewp. 268
The Concept of Stressp. 268
Understanding the Physiology of Stressp. 271
Profile: Stress, Social Support, and Health: The Dressler Researchp. 277
Can Stress Induce Healing?p. 283
Stress and Psychiatric Disordersp. 286
Alcohol Abusep. 293
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorderp. 295
Populations Under Stressp. 297
Profile: Stress, Alcohol, and Demographic Change in Northern Siberiap. 298
Environmental Disasters as Stressorsp. 304
Resilience: A Buffer Against Stressp. 306
Conclusionsp. 308
Resourcesp. 309
Health Resources in Changing Culturesp. 311
Previewp. 312
The Story of Iship. 313
Change and Adaptationp. 314
Models for the Study of Contact Processesp. 316
Repercussions of Culture Contact on Health in the Arcticp. 319
Profile: Culture Change and Inuit Health: Two Familiesp. 327
Health Care as an Adaptive Systemp. 332
Decisions About Carep. 337
Refugee Health Carep. 342
Anthropology and HIV/AIDSp. 348
Conclusionsp. 357
Resourcesp. 357
Costs and Benefits of Developmentp. 359
Previewp. 360
Spirit Possession in a Malaysian Factoryp. 361
Globalization and Healthp. 363
Water Systems, Disease, and Applied Medical Anthropologyp. 374
Profile: The Medical Ecology of Cholera in Ecuadorp. 375
Strategies for Improving Healthp. 382
Health Disparities in Developed Economiesp. 385
Paying the Costs of Industrial Developmentp. 392
Profile: Hazardous Waste and the Mohawks at Akwesasnep. 393
The Anthropology of Troublep. 399
Conclusionsp. 405
Resourcesp. 406
Medical Anthropologists at Work: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-First Centuryp. 409
Previewp. 410
Violence and Terror: The Work of Forensic Anthropologistsp. 410
The AIDS Pandemic: Medical Anthropologists in International Healthp. 415
Contemporary Medicine and Its Discontentsp. 421
Conclusionsp. 426
Resourcesp. 427
Projects in Medical Anthropologyp. 429
References Citedp. 433
Indexp. 483
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