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Anthropology and Public Health

Bridging Differences in Culture and Society

Second Edition

Robert A. Hahn and Marcia C. Inhorn

Publication Date - 17 October 2008

ISBN: 9780195374643

752 pages
6 1/8 X 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

A guide to understanding and improving public health using anthropologic approaches. Now in a new edition!


Many serious public health problems confront the world in the new millennium. Anthropology and Public Health examines the critical role of anthropology in four crucial public health domains: (1) anthropological understandings of public health problems such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes; (2) anthropological design of public health interventions in areas such as tobacco control and elder care; (3) anthropological evaluations of public health initiatives such as Safe Motherhood and polio eradication; and (4) anthropological critiques of public health policies, including neoliberal health care reforms. As the volume demonstrates, anthropologists provide crucial understandings of public health problems from the perspectives of the populations in which the problems occur. On the basis of such understandings, anthropologists may develop and implement interventions to address particular public health problems, often working in collaboration with local participants. Anthropologists also work as evaluators, examining the activities of public health institutions and the successes and failures of public health programs. Anthropological critiques may focus on major international public health agencies and their workings, as well as public health responses to the threats of infectious disease and other disasters. Through twenty-four compelling case studies from around the world, the volume provides a powerful argument for the imperative of anthropological perspectives, methods, information, and collaboration in the understanding and practice of public health. Written in plain English, with significant attention to anthropological methodology, the book should be required reading for public health practitioners, medical anthropologists, and health policy makers. It should also be of interest to those in the behavioral and allied health sciences, as well as programs of public health administration, planning, and management. As the single most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of anthropology's role in public health, this volume will inform debates about how to solve the world's most pressing public health problems at a critical moment in human history.

About the Author(s)

Robert A. Hahn, PhD, MPH is a Senior Scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control in Atlanta, Georgia.

Marcia C. Inhorn, PhD, MPH, is William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at Yale University.


"This book is oriented towards public health practitioners, and, as befits the supremely pragmatic orientation of that field, it is a very helpful compendium of the applications of medical anthropology to solve specific problems. As a collection of case studies, it is probably without peer. It is broader in orientation than either Trostle's Epidemiology and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 1995) or Nichter's Global Health: Why Cultural Perceptions, Social Representations, and Biopolitics Matter (University of Arizona Press, 2008)."--Doody's

Table of Contents

    Part I: Anthropological Understanding of Public Health Problems
    1. The Anthropology of Childhood Malaria in Tanzania, Vinay Kamat
    2. Diagnosis and Management of Asthma in the Medical Marketplace of India: Implications for Effort to Improve Global Respiratory Health, David Van Sickle
    3. Situating Stress: Lessons from Lay Discourses on Diabetes, Nancy E. Schoenberg, Elaine M. Drew, and Eleanor Palo Stoller
    4. Undersatnding Prgnancy in a Population of Inner-City Women in New Orleans-- Results of Qualitative Research, Carl Kendall, Aimee Afable-Munsuz, Ilene Speizer, Alexis Avery, Norine Schmidt, and John Santelli
    5. The Limits of "Heterosexual AIDS:" Ethnographic Research on Tourism and Male Sexual Labor in the Dominican Republic, Mark B. Padilla
    6. Male Infertility and Consanguinity in Lebanon: the Power of Ethnogrpahic Epidemiology, Marcia C. Inhorn, Loulou Kobeissi, Antoine A. Abu-Musa, Johnny Awward, Michael H. Fakih, Najwa Hammoud, Antoine B. Hannoun, Da'ad Lakkis, and Zaher Nassar
    7. Structural Violence, Political Violence, and the Health Costs of Civil Conflict: A Case Study from Peru, Tom Leatherman and R. Brooke Thomas
    Part II: Anthropological Design of Public Health Interventions
    8. Bridges between Mental Health Care and Religious Healing in Puerto Rico: The Outcome of an Early Experiment, Joan D. Koss-Chioino
    9. Indigenization of Illness Support Groups for Lymphatic Filariasis in Haiti, Jeannine Coreil and Gladys Mayard
    10. Using Formative Research to Explore and Address Elder Health and Care in Chiapas, Mexico, Namino Glantz
    11. Anthropological Contributions to the Development of Culturally Appropriate Tobacco Cessation Programs: A Global Health Priority, Mark Nichter, Mimi Nichter, Siwi Padmawti, C.U. Thresia, and Project Quit Tobacco International Group
    12. From Street Research to Public Health Intervetnion: The Hartford Drug Monitoring Project, Merrill Singer, Greg Mirhej, Claudia Santelices, and Hassan Saleheen
    13. Sexual Risk Reduction Among Married Men and Women in Urban India: An Anthropological Intervention, Stephen L. Schensul, Ravi K. Verma, Bonnie K. Nastasi, Niranjan Saggurti, and Abdelwahed Mekki-Berrada
    Part III: Anthropological Evaluations of Public Health Initiatives
    14. Honorable Mutilation? Changing Responses to Female Genital Cutting in Sudan, Ellen Gruenbaum
    15. Making Pregnancy Safer for Women around the World: The Example of Safe Motherhood and Maternal Death in Guatemala, Nicole S. Berry
    16. Counting on Mother's Love, Karen Marie Moland and Astrid Blystad
    17. The Brazilian Response to AIDS and the Pharmaceuticalization of Global Health, Joao Biehl
    18. Anthropological and Public Health Perspectives on the Polio Eradication Initiative in Northern Nigeria, Elisha P. Renne
    Part IV: Anthropological Critiques of Public Health Policy
    19. "Sanitary Makeshifts" and the Perpetuation of Health Stratification in Indonesia, Eric A. Stein
    20. Global Panic, Local Repercussions: The Economic and Nutritional Effects of Bird Flu in Vietnam, Stacy Lockerbie and D. Ann Herring
    21. Neoliberal Infections and the Politics of Health: Resurgent Tuberculosis Epidemics in New York City and Lima, Peru, Sandy Smith-Nonini
    22. Biological Citizenship After Chernobyl, Adriana Petryna
    23. An Ethnographic Evaluation of Post-Alma Ata Health System Reforms in Mongolia: Lessons for Addressing Health Inequities in Poor Communities, Craig R. Janes
    24. Bureaucratic Aspects of International Health Programs, George M. Foster

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