Anth342

Powerful Essays
Ryan Burke
Professor John Bock
Anth. 342
20 December 2014

Response Paper 4 – How have economic development and globalization changed the ecology of human health and disease? In your discussion, include aging, infectious disease, and chronic disease. You should discuss the concept of epidemiological transitions Prehistoric humans had no notion for the differences between a PPO or an HMO benefits package, nor any reason to concern themselves. Similarly, most people today haven’t the slightest idea how to clean a fish. To be fair to both groups, our environment has changed drastically in the interim, as have our collective needs. A growing population has given rise to new solutions, so as to promote efficiency and minimize want, particularly in the West: mechanization, automation, and digitization, all composing an effort to save time whilst serving more. Healthcare and food have graduated from personal concerns into full-fledged industries in which the bottom line has authority. Similar to the social construction of a “healthy” meal, the very idea of medicine has taken innumerable forms in the last 150 years alone. Thus, it is no small task to document the factors that have influenced the ecology of human health and disease. In discussing globalization’s effect on our collective health, it is important to emphasize the linearity of two key factors: diet and medicine. They are inextricably linked, and their development has reflexively shaped the global economy, given their significance in our social and individual lives. Healthcare has developed from traditional methods to a biomedical system of beliefs, with the Greco-Roman construction of medicine as a foundation and fundamental turning point in modern science (Bock, 2014). The trend, to be more specific, is from supernatural and cultural explanations of disease to more empirical observations based in biological causality. However, it’s become increasingly common for contemporary healthcare



Cited: Vol. 27 (1998), pp. 247-271 Published by: Annual Reviews Vol. 2, No. 1, Biological and Cultural Anthropology at Emory University (Feb., 1987), pp. 137-154 Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association

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