Aus: D.Levinson, M. Ember (Hrsg.) Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology. Henry Holt, New York 1996; (Permission given by Prof. McElroy Jan. 21th 2002)
Medical anthropology is the study of human health and disease, health care systems, and biocultural adaptation. The discipline draws upon the four fields of anthropology to analyse and compare the health of regional populations and of ethnic and cultural enclaves, both prehistoric and contemporary. Collaboration among paleopathologists, human biologists, ethnologists, and linguists has created a field that is autonomous from any single subdiscipline, with strong potential for integration of physical and Cultural anthropology. The field is also highly interdisciplinary, linking anthropology to sociology, economics, and geography, as well as to medicine, nursing, public health, and other health professions.
Since the mid-1960s, medical anthropology has developed three major orientations. Medical ecology views populations as biological as well as cultural units and studies interactions among ecological systems, health, and human evolution. Ethnomedical analysis focuses on cultural systems of healing and the cognitive parameters of illness. Applied medical anthropology deals with intervention, prevention, and policy issues and analyses the socioeconomic forces and power differentials that influence access to care. In this triad, cultural anthropology is most closely allied with ethnomedicine. In the formative years, some anthropologists favoured identifying the field as "ethnomedicine," while others preferred "anthropology of health." The term "medical anthropology prevalled, however, coming to represent a diversified range of orientations.
History George M. Foster and Barbara Gallatin Anderson (1978) trace the development of medical anthropology to four distinct sources: the interest of early physlcal 1
anthropologists in human evolution and adaptation, ethnographic... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2010, 12). Medical Anthropology. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Medical-Anthropology-532994.html
"Medical Anthropology" StudyMode.com. 12 2010. 12 2010 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Medical-Anthropology-532994.html>.
"Medical Anthropology." StudyMode.com. 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Medical-Anthropology-532994.html.