Medical anthropology

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Medical anthropology is a subfield of anthropology that draws upon social, cultural, biological, and linguistic anthropology to better understand those factors which influence health and well being (broadly defined), the experience and distribution of illness, the prevention and treatment of sickness, healing processes, the social relations of therapy management, and the cultural importance and utilization of pluralistic medical systems.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The discipline of medical anthropology is intended to provide a framework, which not only helps us understand a culture's system of health care, but also how that system fits into the entire cultural system. Medical anthropologists study such issues as health disparities, epidemiology, global health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, infectious disease, chronic illness, mental health, illness narrative, medical imaging, bioethics, biopolitics, and alternative medicine.

History[edit | edit source]

Medical anthropology has its roots in the 19th century when anthropology as a larger field of study was being established. The term "medical anthropology" was first used in 1963. The field has grown significantly since then, with medical anthropologists working in academic settings, government and non-government organizations, public health, and health care settings.

Subfields[edit | edit source]

Medical anthropology can be divided into two main subfields: applied medical anthropology and theoretical medical anthropology. Applied medical anthropology is often utilized in the fields of public health, nursing, and medicine. Theoretical medical anthropology focuses on the ways that health and illness are perceived and managed in different cultural settings.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Medical anthropology Resources
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