Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Soc Sci Med. 2018 Jan;196:233-239. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.10.033. Epub 2017 Oct 31.

The field of medical anthropology in Social Science & Medicine.

Author information

1
Yale University, United States. Electronic address: medanthro.ssm@yale.edu.
2
Yale University, United States.

Abstract

Conceptually and methodologically, medical anthropology is well-positioned to support a "big-tent" research agenda on health and society. It fosters approaches to social and structural models of health and wellbeing in ways that are critically reflective, cross-cultural, people-centered, and transdisciplinary. In this review article, we showcase these four main characteristics of the field, as featured in Social Science & Medicine over the last fifty years, highlighting their relevance for an international and interdisciplinary readership. First, the practice of critical inquiry in ethnographies of health offers a deep appreciation of sociocultural viewpoints when recording and interpreting lived experiences and contested social worlds. Second, medical anthropology champions cross-cultural breadth: it makes explicit local understandings of health experiences across different settings, using a fine-grained, comparative approach to develop a stronger global platform for the analysis of health-related concerns. Third, in offering people-centered views of the world, anthropology extends the reach of critical enquiry to the lived experiences of hard-to-reach population groups, their structural vulnerabilities, and social agency. Finally, in developing research at the nexus of cultures, societies, biologies, and health, medical anthropologists generate new, transdisciplinary conversations on the body, mind, person, community, environment, prevention, and therapy. As featured in this journal, scholarly contributions in medical anthropology seek to debate human health and wellbeing from many angles, pushing forward methodology, social theory, and health-related practice.

KEYWORDS:

Biology; Ethnography; Health; Interdisciplinary; Medical anthropology; Theory

PMID:
29137936
DOI:
10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.10.033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center