How Public Health Could Benefit From Anthropology

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How Public Health Could Benefit From Anthropology

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How Public Health Could Benefit From Anthropology

  1. 1. How Public health could benefit from anthropology? DIS - 21. November 2011, Nikolaj Darre
  2. 2. Learning objectives• Discusswhat anthropology is about andhowit can be useful when working at the arena of Public Health. DIS - 21. November 2011
  3. 3. Overview1. Can we catch a cold?2. Methodology3. Theory DIS - 21. November 2011
  4. 4. Anthropology• The study of humankind (Anthro[p] = human, ology = the study of)• Social and cultural aspect of humankind• Medical anthropology = health, sickness and treatment. DIS - 21. November 2011
  5. 5. Catching a cold is your own fault by David Aldridge• A example of how people from different contexts offering different diagnosis and different advice.• Therefore decisions in health care practice are made according to different meanings and cultural contexts. DIS - 21. November 2011
  6. 6. Different reasons for cold• the dust from decorating the house (wife)• neglects (mother) Nothing to do with bacterial.• Hayfever or stress. (work) DIS - 21. November 2011
  7. 7. Different treatments:• Consume alcohol• Go home and go to bed The point: “…different explanations exist concurrently according to our own world views, and the ‘patient’ does not always reflect the epistemological position of the observers” (p.129) DIS - 21. November 2011
  8. 8. Agreed sickness• Our experience of being ill needs to be validated by someone else – in that way it is ‘negotiable’, not fixed and open to change (p.131).• The doctor can invalidate the patients• Shared meaningis important. DIS - 21. November 2011
  9. 9. Methodology in Anthropology Qualitative Vs. Quantitative DIS - 21. November 2011
  10. 10. Fieldwork DIS - 21. November 2011
  11. 11. Participate observationCaptures not just what you say – But also what you do! DIS - 21. November 2011
  12. 12. Interview DIS - 21. November 2011
  13. 13. Implication using Qualitative methods Validation and verification requiresTransparency, transparency and transparency DIS - 21. November 2011
  14. 14. Theory in Anthropology• Helps us understand real life• But, it is also a certain viewpoint in which we look at things.• Theory is empirically imbedded DIS - 21. November 2011
  15. 15. Tough athlete or cripple? DIS - 21. November 2011
  16. 16. Relativism andThe social fabric of health DIS - 21. November 2011
  17. 17. Medical traditions• Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurvedic medicine, medical traditions of Africa, Western biomedicine etc.• Medical pluralism DIS - 21. November 2011
  18. 18. Views and ideas• Balance between elements (Asia, Africa)• Body fluids (Humoral system, Greece)• Soul loss (Shamanism, America, Africa)• Dualism between body/soul (Biomedicine) DIS - 21. November 2011
  19. 19. Ethnocentrism• People are experts on their own life, therefore try to understand people in their own context – use a emicperspective.• Be aware of contexts (physical, social, temporal) DIS - 21. November 2011
  20. 20. Holism• Try to see things in a bigger perspective• Remember patients are much more than their sickness DIS - 21. November 2011
  21. 21. Theory is Empirical founded  DIS - 21. November 2011
  22. 22. Interdisciplinary• Not like monotheistic religions, but more like polytheistic• Claude Levy-Strauss and Structuralism – Semiotics have form and substance – Signifier/Signified – Social praxis/underlying meaning DIS - 21. November 2011
  23. 23. Summing up• Health is everywhere culturally particular and varied (Janzen 2002:52)• Se heath, sickness and treatment in a bigger perspective• Include context• Don’t be ethnocentric• Use qualitative methods if your looking for a deeper understanding.• Be reflexive DIS - 21. November 2011
  24. 24. The endDIS - 21. November 2011

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