Exploring Medical Anthropology (2nd Edition)

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9780205442348: Exploring Medical Anthropology (2nd Edition)

Donald Joralemon's widely popular Exploring Medical Anthropology offers the curious lay person a concise and engaging introduction to the field that presents competing theoretical perspectives in a balanced fashion.Written in an accessible, jargon-free language, Exploring Medical Anthropology uses cases based on the author?s personal research experiences to explain four of the discipline's most important insights: 1) that biology and culture matter equally in the human experience of disease, 2) that the political economy is a primary epidemiological factor, 3) that ethnography is an essential tool to understand human suffering due to disease, and 4) that medical anthropology can help to alleviate human suffering.

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From the Back Cover:

Exploring Medical Anthropology is a concise and engaging introduction to the field written in an accessible, jargon-free language. Widely adopted, this text uses concrete cases and the author's personal research experience to present competing theoretical perspectives in a balanced fashion, highlighting points of conflict and convergence. An extensive glossary facilitates student learning of concepts and terms, while a list of suggested readings at the end of each chapter and an extensive bibliography encourage further exploration.

Highlights of the new edition

  • NEW Chapter 5, “The Global Petri Dish” discusses emerging/re-emerging infectious diseases (e.g., SARS, tuberculosis) and the threat of bioterrorism encouraging students to think globally about disease in the twenty-first century.
  • NEW text boxes on “testosterone replacement therapy” (Chapter 1), the use of DDT in malaria prevention (Chapter 5), and on Paul Farmer's challenge to the concept of primary health care for poor countries (Chapter 6).
  • NEW discussion of how applied anthropologists respond to the push for "cultural competency" in biomedicine includes a thoughtful critique of Ann Fadiman's well-received account of cultural miscommunications between doctors and Hmong refugees from "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" (Chapter 7).
  • Expanded bibliography and glossary.
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About the Author:

Donald Joralemon is professor of anthropology at Smith College.  He received his BA from Oberlin College (1974) and his MA and PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (1983).  He is the author of Exploring Medical Anthropology (1999, third edition 2010) and the coauthor (with Douglas Sharon) of Sorcery and Shamanism: Curanderos and Clients in Northern Peru (1993).  Among his published articles on Peruvian shamanism is the widely cited essay, “The Selling of the Shaman and the Problem of Informant Legitimacy” (Journal of Anthropological Research, 1990).  His present work focuses on the anthropology of organ transplantation and medical ethics.  His article “Organ Wars: The Battle for Body Parts” (Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 1995) won the Polgar Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology.  His most recent publications, on the medical ethics of financial compensation for organ donors, appear in the Journal of Medical Ethics (2001) and The Hastings Center Report (2003).  An article on the concept of medical futility was published in the Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics (2002).
At Smith College, Professor Joralemon teaches Medical Anthropology, Native South Americans, Dying and Death,  and a seminar on Anthropology and Medical Ethics

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