This long-awaited revision of what has now become the classic text in medical anthropology contains a wealth of new material on subjects as diverse as aging, creativity, and ideology. Originally cited in American Anthropologist as "must reading for all medical anthropologists, physicians, advanced medical anthropology students and advanced medical students," this new edition should prove twice as valuable. It is both a comprehensive introduction to the rapidly growing field of medical anthropology and a state-of-the-art reference work. The authors bring new perspectives to our understanding of both Western and non-Western medicine, from the biochemical and physiological aspects of health care in preindustrialized cultures to cultural and ideological factors inherent in past and present Western medical care. New chapters focus on ethnobotany, placebo and pain, shamanism, and psychiatry. The contributors to this volume examine the acculturation process of healer, physician, and patient in diverse cultural settings. They explore the social and cultural context of medical events as well as the process of medical thought and problem solving. Medicine, they illustrate, embraces or is embraced by both the cultural and biological dimensions of mankind. From this perspective they show how human belief, knowledge, and action structure the experience of disease and affect ways in which doctors, healers, and patients experience illness and influence the matrix of decision making. This book is essential for students and professionals in anthropology, medicine, and all social science.
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