Do you have any experiences in which these different concepts have been salient?

ANTH 147 Reading Response #1
Fall 2022
Assigned texts:
Brown, Peter., R. Barrett, M. Padilla “Medical Anthropology: An Introduction to the Fields,” in Brown, ed. Understanding and Applying Medical Anthropology, New York: Mayfield Publishing Company, pp.1-9.
Waxler, Nancy. “Learning to be a Leper,” in Brown, Understanding and Applying Medical Anthropology, New York: Mayfield Publishing Company, pp.147-157.
Due at the beginning of Recitation Section. Please include full bibliographic references at the end of your essay (citing the article, book it is in, and page numbers.)
Choose one of the following questions for your RR essay. Your essay response should be approximately 250 words, typed, double-spaced. Spell-check and proof-read before submitting. Be sure to include your full name and section no.
Studying all of these questions will prepare you for recitation discussion and future assessments.
1. Brown and co-authors introduce the distinction between sickness, disease, and illness in explaining the topics of medical anthropological inquiry (p.11). Define these three concepts and give 2 examples of each of them from your readings this week. Do you have any experiences in which these different concepts have been salient?
2. A major concern for anthropologists is understanding the cultural patterns that shape a community’s way of life. What are 3 interrelated domains that comprise cultural patterns? Consider the example the authors give about schistosomaisis near Lake Victoria and the Nile. What kinds of questions would an anthropologist ask to study the ways cultural patterns shape this illness experience?
3. Identify the four major premises shared by all 5 approaches in medical anthropology. Then explain how and why medical anthropology analyzes biomedicine as one of many of the world’s ethnomedicines. Do you find this troubling, intriguing, or both? Why or why not?
4. Waxler’s subtitle incorporates the phrase, “the social construction of illness.” Drawing on at least 2 examples from this article, explain what this phrase means. Also discuss what she means by the idea that diseases can have “social and moral definitions,” which affect a person’s “illness career.” Finally, drawing on 2 examples, explain how medical institutions participate in (or perhaps can change) the social and morbcial definitions of a disease.

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