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Encyclopedia of Epidemiology

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Encyclopedia of Epidemiology

Sarah Boslaugh

Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Medical Anthropology

Alyson Anthony & Mary Alice Scott & Alyson Anthony & Mary Alice Scott & K. Anglin

Medical anthropology is a subdiscipline within anthropology that addresses sociocultural dimensions of health and illness, as well as the epistemologies and practices associated with diverse systems of healing. This entry examines medical anthropology's contribution to the study of the social production of health and illness. Although medical anthropologists move through the terrain of human health in various ways, this entry concentrates on a select few examples of theoretical and methodological contributions to the anthropological understanding of the political economy of health. According to medical anthropologist Morgan (1987), the political economy of health is “a macroanalytic, critical, and historical perspective for analyzing disease distribution and health services under a variety of economic systems, with particular emphasis on the effects of stratified social, political, and economic relations within the world economic system” (p. 132). Political-economic medical anthropologists argue that health-threatening conditions are the result of historically based social, political, and economic systems ...

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