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Contributions of famous people to socio anthropology

For details, please refer to http: Many people in the fields of medicine and public health do not understand the potential role that anthropology could play in the development of public health policy. The intention of this article is to provide readers with an understanding of the unique perspective that medical anthropology could contribute to informing public health policy decisions. Socio-cultural anthropology has undergone significant theoretical and pragmatic changes over the past half-century.

As a discipline, anthropology has been criticized for its role in imperial conquest.

Anthropology's Contribution to Public Health Policy Development

During colonial times, anthropologists often accompanied colonial explorers and military in order to facilitate their work, this is often referred to as 'the handmaiden era' in the history of anthropology's history. It is said that in this role, anthropologists gained the trust of natives using their linguistic proficiency and cultural awareness in order to assist the colonial state in the implementation of policies that ultimately led to further oppression and disempowerment Pels and Salemind.

Such critiques, among others, have led to a significant redirection of anthropological thought and theory Lewis. Social and cultural anthropology have turned towards a more critical, reflexive and holistic approach since that time. This 'reconstruction' of anthropology has resulted in an increase in criticism of those structures that had previously been assumed as 'right' and inherently 'good'. Scheper-Hughes writes about how social scientists have typically been blind to the unequal power relationships that have been harmful to informants.

10 Famous Cultural Anthropologists

She calls for anthropologists to take a critical stance against such structural and institutional violence "Coming to Our Senses". Holism has also become an important hallmark of modern ethnography. These fundamental changes in the broad discipline of socio-cultural anthropology have manifested themselves in each of its related sub-disciplines.

This paper will examine these changes in the subdiscipline of medical anthropology, and particularly how these changes allow anthropology to make a contribution to public health policy development.

The identification of the field of medical anthropology is generally attributed to William Caudill in his paper from 1953 entitled "Applied Anthropology in Medicine" McElroy. Since that time Medical Anthropology has established a degree of independence from its parent discipline of social and cultural anthropology. Despite this autonomy, medical anthropology's disciplinary evolution has been greatly affected by the changes in social anthropology.

Ethnomedicine was the first of the subfields of medical anthropology to develop.

ANTHROPOLOGY OF PUBLIC HEALTH

The premises of this ideology was that gaining an understanding of local medical beliefs and practices could be beneficial in the provision of biomedical services to people in cultures where biomedicine was new and unknown. McElroy states that "Since the 1940s anthropologists have helped health care providers understand cultural differences in health behaviours" 3.

Emphasis on this aspect of medical anthropology led to the development of the 'Explanatory Model' framework Kleinman and the benchmark volume 'Clinically Applied Anthropology' Chrisman and Maretzki among many others.

These works focused heavily on doctor-patient interaction and how anthropology can be used as a tool in biomedicine.

RECENT EVOLUTION IN MEDICAL ANTROPOLOGY

This thinking was followed by a new wave of thinking that parallels the turn to reflexivity in social anthropology. In 1983, the term 'critical medical anthropology' was introduced Baer. This new brand of medical anthropology was similar to the new reflexive social anthropology in that it was critical, holistic and inward looking: Scheper-Hughes goes on to draw explicit parallels between colonial social anthropology and clinical medical anthropology by saying that medical anthropologists played a vital role in establishing the cultural hegemony of biomedicine.

She calls for medical anthropologists to break with the field of western medicine and distance themselves in order to look back upon biomedicine objectively. Since the emergence of critically applied medical anthropology, several anthropologists have brought this brand of anthropological enquiry to the world of public health policy.

This is not to say that medical anthropology is new to public health. Anthropologists have been involved in public health for many years. They were often involved in mediating between populations and policy makers in much the same way in which medical anthropologists mediated between clinician and patient, or social anthropologists between colonizer and colonized.

Farmer further elaborated on this issue: Scholars often weaken their contributions to an understanding contributions of famous people to socio anthropology infectious diseases by making "immodest claims of causality.

They are immodest because they distract attention from the modest interventions that could treat and often enough cure people. And they are immodest because they distract attention from the preventable social disorder that exacerbates biological disorder. Van Willigen defines a dichotomy between 'anthropology in policy' and 'anthropology of policy' 164. This semantic technicality differentiates between anthropologists who assist policy makers reminiscent of clinically applied anthropology and those who critically appraise the work of policy makers and their policies' unintended negative effects upon the target population.

Parker and Harper describe the anthropology of public health as that "which remains passionately concerned about ill-health and deprivation and the need for public policy; but also remains committed to a rigorous and critical analytical perspective" 2. With its new critical and reflexive perspective, anthropology has a lot to contribute to the development of health policy. Williams states that "a multidisciplinary approach could best address the public health needs of a population" Williams 1.

  • They claim that "practice is part of the discipline's destiny and needs to be at the centre of discussions about anthropology's future" 187;
  • With such small numbers, it is possible to argue that these individuals could easily be unrepresentative of the general population;
  • Little money was pledged to the development of medical infrastructures… instead, a dangerously infectious disease was combated only by programmes that urged individuals to try and avoid it as best as they could in a situation where there was no means of knowing who was infected and who was not and, in the main, no way of finding out 30;
  • Maintaining input from an anthropological perspective is important in order to avoid this kind of counter-productive policy being developed;
  • He explained that gifts are much more than objects, they represent moral links between people;
  • Social Science of Medicine.

Public health's primary concern is to improve the health of a population. This broadscope approach has brought epidemiology to be the most influential discipline in health policy because by using methodical sampling methods one can theoretically extrapolate conclusions about the state of health of entire populations. Turnock states that there are "five basic sciences of public health: The reason for anthropology's minimized role in health policy development is likely founded in its primary methodological approach: Thanks to an unabashed focus on individuals and small groups, many involved in the process of policymaking have argued that the data that generated by anthropological research is less valuable because it does not lend itself to broad 'scientific' extrapolation, as does epidemiological data.

Ethnographic research involves observing and conducting interviews with a small group of people. With such small numbers, it is possible to argue that these individuals could easily be unrepresentative of the general population. Despite the uphill battle that faces anthropologists in the public health sector, it is imperative to continue the work, as ethnographic inquiry has the potential to generate a great deal of rich information which can influence policy development.

In the following section, I will describe four ways anthropology can influence public health policy in ways that epidemiology or other methods cannot. A The ability to see culture in its proper context in the social world and how culture affects all research. B The ability to pick up on minute and seemingly irrelevant details. C Independence from biomedical goals and hegemony allows medical anthropologists to add a critical voice to the public health discourse.

D Provision of objective, qualitative data in an otherwise quantitative field. A contributions of famous people to socio anthropology Integrated Perspective of Culture When striving to understand disease etiology among a given population, public health specialists and human ecologists often use a 'multifactorial model of disease' Curnow and Smith.

This is a model in which there are a number of distinct factors that are thought to contribute to disease in the population. Culture is one of these factors, alongside many others, including: The factorial model seems consistent with earlier medical anthropological research, relating to the method of the clinically applied anthropologist. By involving anthropologists on a clinical level it is possible to reduce the impact of the culture 'factor' on disease prevalence.

Many medical anthropologists see this model of disease as outdated and inaccurate because "it reduces the investigation of social and cultural aspects of disease to discrete, static, quantifiable 'beliefs' held by the study population" Parker and Harper 1-2.

This factorial notion of disease seems to involve the reasoning that factors of disease causation such as biology and environment are beyond the reach of culture. A modern conception of culture, as accepted by most anthropologists is significantly more complex and all-encompassing. In contemporary medical anthropology, it is believed that all research, even the most subjective and scientific, is rooted in the culture and experience of those who interpret and publish the results.

As a result of past discussions and debates within the field, contemporary medical anthropology is equipped to see beyond the established factorial model of disease. Similar discussions have taken place in medical anthropology such as those surrounding the Cartesian dualism paradigm. This is a dichotomy between the mind and the body of an individual. This worldview is characterized by a mechanistic view of disease etiology, very similar to that in the factorial model.

Anthropologists

The Cartesian paradigm continues to be used in western biomedicine and was accepted in medical anthropology for many years.

Only recently, under the context of the 'new' critical version of medical anthropology, has this concept come under the microscope. Scheper-Hughes and Lock argue for the need to problematize such a seemingly simple dualism. They claim that it is not as straightforward an issue as it may seem. They challenge "medical anthropologists and clinicians to view humans and the experience of contributions of famous people to socio anthropology and suffering from an integrated perspective" Scheper-Hughes and Lock 10.

While it may be argued that clinicians have held on to contributions of famous people to socio anthropology Cartesian Legacy," anthropologists have been working for years at developing such an integrated perspective.

Medical anthropologists can contribute significantly to public health policy by providing this perspective to aid by providing an alternative to the entrenched factorial model of disease in the world of public health. Anthropology is involved in seeing the entire situation in a given community. This involves participant observation in order to capture the smallest details in the events of individuals' lives.

This also involves study of the macro-level forces and structures that are acting on people that cause them to behave the way they do. The importance of anthropology's holism also relates to dispelling the notion of the factorial model. The factorial model sees culture in isolation from all other factors. This type of reasoning can lead to what Helman calls 'victim blaming'. The same pattern can be observed in public health policy if culture is considered isolated from political, social and economic factors.

Little money was pledged to the development of medical infrastructures… instead, a dangerously infectious disease was combated only by programmes that urged individuals to try and avoid it as best as they could in a situation where there was no means of knowing who was infected and who was not and, in the main, no way of finding out 30. Maintaining input from an anthropological perspective is important in order to avoid this kind of counter-productive policy being developed.

It is important to utilize a holistic approach to illness in order to identify all pertinent factors that contribute to a given pandemic. John Porter, an epidemiologist, has said of anthropology: Whether this 'root' at the level of social interactions between individuals, a cultural nuance or the macrocosmic structures that impact a given population, anthropological methods of investigation have proven reliable in identifying it.

Biomedicine, epidemiology and the other contributing sciences are inherently reductionist and hence have a very narrow scope in which to view the phenomenon of illness or epidemic. Everything is expected to have an explanation grounded in biology or 'science'. This type of oppositional thinking is important in generating new theories and in promoting necessary discourse to effectuate much needed change in public health systems. To this day, one often hears allegations against anthropology for its past as the 'handmaiden' of colonialism.

As a result of having to defend itself from these claims, the discipline has become very critical of hegemonic power structures that are involved in neo-colonial oppression of the afflicted and underprivileged. Biomedicine is a classic example of such a potentially oppressive structure. Several accounts exist that describe how "the doctor has replaced the priest as the custodian of social values" Turner 37-38. For example, one author writes a detailed account of how the Public Health institution in the Philippines functions as an emissary of the state in subjecting people to foreign practices in order to effectuate control and domination over the public Anderson.

Anthropology's inward looking critical perspective of medicine and public health makes the data that it generates very important to the development of further policy.

Scheper-Hughes states that it is "imperative to position ourselves squarely on the side of human suffering" "Three Propositions" 196. Anthropologists have gone from being the handmaidens of colonial power to advocates for the afflicted and suffering. Many of the other sciences that contribute to health policy share biomedicine's mechanistic paradigm.

  1. He suggested that humans follow a social progression which parallels surpluses of food and advancements in collecting that food.
  2. These fundamental changes in the broad discipline of socio-cultural anthropology have manifested themselves in each of its related sub-disciplines. Parker and Harper describe the anthropology of public health as that "which remains passionately concerned about ill-health and deprivation and the need for public policy; but also remains committed to a rigorous and critical analytical perspective" 2.
  3. Several accounts exist that describe how "the doctor has replaced the priest as the custodian of social values" Turner 37-38. A student of Boas see below Sapir was able to develop the relationship between linguistics and anthropology.

Criticism is necessary to stimulate improvements in structures or programs that are already firmly entrenched.