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Medical Anthropology

Carolyn Smith-Morris
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 24, 2018: Medical Anthropology
Carolyn Smith-Morris, George H Bresnick, Jorge Cuadros, Kathryn E Bouskill, Elin Rønby Pedersen
Vision loss from diabetic retinopathy should be unnecessary for patients with access to diabetic retinopathy screening, yet it still occurs at high rates and in varied contexts. Precisely because vision loss is only one of many late-stage complications of diabetes, interfering with the management of diabetes and making self-care more difficult, Vision Threatening Diabetic Retinopathy (VTDR) is considered a "high stakes" diagnosis. Our mixed-methods research addressed the contexts of care and treatment seeking in a sample of people with VTDR using safety-net clinic services and eye specialist referrals...
January 17, 2018: Medical Anthropology
Trudie Gerrits
In this article, I address reproductive travel to Ghana, based on research conducted in two private fertility clinics. Both clinics attract clients from West African countries as well as Ghanaian people living in US and Europe. Their motivations to visit these clinics include positive "testimonies" about treatment results, "bioavailability" of matching donor material and surrogates, lower treatment costs and the circumvention of restricting regulations in the country of residence. Next to structural features in the countries of residence and in Ghana, I discuss the centrality of communication technologies facilitating reproductive travel and argue that the "international choreographies" of reproductive travel are co-shaped by the unique biographies and transnational relationships of the people involved...
January 15, 2018: Medical Anthropology
Claire Snell-Rood, Richard Merkel, Nancy Schoenberg
Kinship processes contribute to the experience and interpretation of depression-generating empathy as well as silencing. We explore intersubjective experiences of depression among kin with the aim of understanding how depression can reveal kinship expectations and evolving concepts of distress. In interviews with 28 low-income rural Appalachian women about their depression, participants articulated depression as a social process that neither starts nor ends in themselves. Yet kinship obligations to recognize family members' depression limited women's ability to admit distress, let alone request care...
January 15, 2018: Medical Anthropology
Tanya Zivkovic, Megan Warin, Vivienne Moore, Paul Ward, Michelle Jones
By foregrounding positive and productive capacities of fat, we explore experiences of expanding, maintaining or diminishing body sizes to accommodate the different meanings and enactments of fat. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in a South Australian community that has experienced significant socio-economic disadvantage, we detail how the "problem" of fat in public health discourse is countered in the lived experience of people targeted for obesity intervention. In so doing, we attend to the multiple meanings and practices of fat that differ to the focus within public health interventions on the negative health consequences of overweight and obesity...
January 10, 2018: Medical Anthropology
Chris Lyttleton
Global health security is increasingly reliant on vigilance to provide early warning of transnational health threats. In theory, this approach requires that sentinels, based in communities most affected by new or re-emerging infectious diseases, deliver timely alerts of incipient risk. Medicalizing global safety also implies there are particular forms of insecurity that must be remedied to pre-empt disease spread. I examine vigilance in the context of spreading drug resistant malaria in Southeast Asian border zones and argue that to act as sentinels, marginal groups vulnerable to infection must be able to articulate what social and behavioral factors prompt proliferating disease risks...
January 10, 2018: Medical Anthropology
Inês Faria
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 8, 2018: Medical Anthropology
Bronwen Lichtenstein, Towanda Pettway, Joe Weber
Tuberculosis Bacilli (TB) is a global scourge that affects poor people and regions. Drawing on Farmer's (2003) pathologies of power, and a case study approach, we examine the sociostructural landscape of a fatal outbreak of Sharecropper's TB among African Americans in rural Alabama. In a mixed-method qualitative approach involving oral history, surveys, interviews and documentary analysis, we identified three pathologies that contribute to TB susceptibility: corporate power, land wealth, and structural racism...
December 21, 2017: Medical Anthropology
Shana D Hughes, Nicolas Sheon, Erin V W Andrew, Stephanie E Cohen, Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, Albert Y Liu
Although pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has dramatically impacted HIV prevention, deep engagement with PrEP-takers' own accounts of their sexual behavior is still rare. We report findings from semi-structured interviews with male participants of the US PrEP Demonstration Project. In their narratives, interviewees variously foregrounded their individual selves, interactions with sexual partners, and the biopolitical and historical context of their lives. PrEP served to discursively integrate the multiple selves populating these stories...
December 19, 2017: Medical Anthropology
Casey Golomski
White individuals working within South Africa's private health insurance (medical aid) market and allied fields face a conundrum with respect to eldercare. Some policies accommodate older adults' needs, but being older is costly and long-term residential care is excluded. Critically, these workers' position as middle- and upper-class enables them to pity older, poorer whites and blacks who more often use a dysfunctional public health sector, yet the eldercare gap and other limitations reveal that these workers' own class position is also tenuous...
December 19, 2017: Medical Anthropology
Daniel Kashnitsky, Ekaterina Demintseva
Social isolation limits migrants' access to health care, providing the context for the emergence of migrants' own medical infrastructure. In this article, we explore the so-called Kyrgyz clinics, private medical centers in Moscow founded by doctors from Kyrgyzstan and targeted specifically for labor migrants from Central Asian countries, particularly Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. These Kyrgyz clinics both provide affordable medical services and enable migrant doctors to guide migrant patienta through Russia's medical infrastructure, in the context of limited resources, lack of health insurance, low awareness of available services, and other barriers to care...
December 19, 2017: Medical Anthropology
Linda Rae Bennett, Bregje de Kok
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 19, 2017: Medical Anthropology
Linda Rae Bennett
When combined primary and secondary infertility affect up to 21% of Indonesian couples. Based on ethnographic field work with married heterosexual couples, I explore how intra-family adoption represents a culturally and religiously acceptable pathway to family formation for couples without access to assisted reproductive technologies. I examine how kinship is central to the negotiation of adoption, and to maintaining ethnic and religious continuity within adoptive families. I reveal how adoption can enable infertile women and birth mothers to achieve or escape the dominant expectations of heteronormativity, and discuss intra-family adoption by infertile couples in relation to reproductive stratification and levelling of reproductive opportunities for non-elites...
November 28, 2017: Medical Anthropology
Lauren E Gulbas
I examine the intersection of politics and aesthetics in a public hospital in Caracas, Venezuela in the first years of the twenty-first century. Given Venezuela's long-standing embrace of physical enhancement and the contradictions of the medical values of cosmetic surgery with those of Bolivarian socialism, the changing surgical practices at a well-established public site offer a significant case for considering how different actors negotiate the dialectics of care. In the face of increasing resource shortages, negotiations of aesthetic care contributed to tensions in the clinical encounter as patients creatively pushed Bolivarian policies to support their pursuits of aesthetic self-improvement...
October 2017: Medical Anthropology
So Yeon Leem
New beauty ideals and particular types of plastic surgery beauty have emerged in South Korea from the early twenty-first century. By defining Gangnam-style plastic surgery as a hybrid of old Westernized beauty ideals and a new science of beauty with variations and contradictions, I intend to twist the simplistic understanding of non-Western plastic surgery as an effort to resemble the white westerner's body. I also draw political implications from a case of monstrous Gangnam-style beauty made by excessive plastic surgery...
October 2017: Medical Anthropology
Christopher Morris
Between 2008 and 2011, South African and American investigators carried out a randomized controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of an African traditional medicine in South Africans who were HIV-seropositive but asymptomatic. The medicine was derived from Sutherlandia frutescens, a plant endemic to and widely used to stimulate immune function by people across southern Africa. In this article, I report on the cross-cultural challenges generated by trial investigators' transformation of Sutherlandia into a clinical trial substance and a potential "treatment gap" therapy for persons with HIV...
October 2017: Medical Anthropology
Courtney Addison, Jesper Lassen
What and where is ethics in gene therapy? Historical debates have identified a set of ethical issues with the field, and current regulatory systems presume a discrete ethics that can be achieved or protected. Resisting attempts at demarcation or resolution, we use the notions of "ordinary" or "everyday" ethics to develop a better understanding of the complexities of experimental gene therapy for patients, families, and practitioners and create richer imaginings of ethics in the gene therapy sphere. Drawing on ethnographic research in several clinical trials, we show that patients/parents can acquire some control in difficult medical situations, and practitioners can attune their care to their patients' needs...
October 2017: Medical Anthropology
Eric Plemons
Facial feminization surgery (FFS) is a set of bone and soft tissue reconstructive surgical procedures intended to feminize the faces of trans- women in order to make their identities as women recognizable to others. In this article, I explore how the identification of facial femininity was negotiated in two FFS surgeons' practices. One committed to the metrics of normal skeletal form and the other to aspirational aesthetics of individual optimization; I argue that surgeons' competing clinical approaches illustrate a constitutive tension in the proliferating therapeutic logics of trans- medicine...
October 2017: Medical Anthropology
Samuel Taylor-Alexander
A growing corpus of anthropological scholarship demonstrates how science and medicine in Mexico are imbued by national concerns with modernization. Drawing on ethnographic research in a public hospital located in the south of Mexico City, I unpack one manifestation of this dynamic, which is the conjugation of the normal and the modern in Mexican reconstructive surgery. The aspiration toward normality underlies everyday clinic practices and relationships in this field, including why parents want surgery for their children and how doctors see their patients and their responsibilities toward them...
October 2017: Medical Anthropology
Malissa Kay Shaw
In this article, I explore how women undergoing in-vitro fertilization with familial or anonymous egg donors located relatedness with a donor-conceived child through familial and social identities. Recognizing gametes as substances that contain biological and sociocultural/behavioral traits, shaped women's narratives around interconnected notions of the familial and familiar, or the social understanding of biological and social inheritance, and knowledge of the genetic materials involved. Women's narratives of relatedness reflect their relationships with family and society and their desire to reproduce these relationships in their child(ren), a process that reproduces prevailing Colombian social values and notions of ideal citizens...
September 20, 2017: Medical Anthropology
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