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By James A. Trostle

This booklet exhibits how practitioners within the rising box of 'cultural epidemiology' describe human future health, converse with diversified audiences, and interfere to enhance health and wellbeing and stop affliction. It makes use of textual and statistical images of disorder to explain earlier and current collaborations among anthropology and epidemiology. reading epidemiology as a cultural perform is helping to bare the ways that dimension, causal considering, and intervention layout are all prompted by way of trust, behavior, and theories of energy. through unpacking many universal sickness dangers and epidemiologic different types, this e-book finds unexamined assumptions and indicates how sociocultural context affects size of disorder. Examples contain stories of epilepsy, cholera, mortality at the vast, breastfeeding, and adolescent smoking. The booklet describes tools as assorted as watching participants, measuring social networks, and compiling information from demise certificate. It argues that potent public healthiness interventions needs to paintings extra frequently and higher on the point of complete groups.

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From Practice to Process: Unpacking the Social and Cultural Environment For our purposes one of the major ideas to emerge from staff trained at the IFCH was a conceptual framework for analyzing the social and cultural processes relevant to health. This framework was developed by an interdisciplinary team at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, led by John Cassel, a former IFCH physician/epidemiologist, and the team also included an anthropologist (Donald Patrick) and a psychologist (David Jenkins).

Some of the respondents used biomedical language to describe their condition, labeling their seizures as grand or petit mal and talking about seeing the results of brain scans or brain waves. But they also used a large variety of nonmedical terms to describe their seizures, including fainting or dizzy spells, zonking out, passing out, sleeping spells, blackouts, popping off, and jumps. Some attributed seizures to stress, diet, or emotional pressure, even when physicians were unable to confirm such connections.

Esther is concerned about the absence of a label for her condition and about whether to call it a “normal” disease. George wants to find who or what is responsible for his seizures. He struggles between his doctor’s offer of chemistry as culprit and his social worker’s implicit suggestion that seizures are brought on by his own anxiety. Studies I later did in Ecuador and Kenya among people with epileptic seizures showed they had quite different interpretations of their illness. People in the highland north of Ecuador often mentioned pent-up rage, frustration, suffering, and “nerves” as causes of particular seizures, while they used heredity to explain why one was exposed to the possibility of having seizures in the first place.

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