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Healing, Well Being and Personhood
Edited by Kent Maynard
172 pages, index
ISBN 978-1-84545-038-0 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (May 2007)
ISBN 978-1-84545-100-4 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (May 2007)
eISBN 978-1-78920-596-1 eBook
“Medical Identities is a welcome call to arms – we need to take medical identities seriously. There is more to healing and promotion of well-being than the health-seeking behaviours and experiences of patients, on the one hand, and the power-knowledge relations that bear medical professions, on the other.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI)
Illness and misfortune more broadly are ubiquitous; thus, healing roles or professions are also universal. Ironically, however, little attention has been paid to those who heal or promote wellbeing. These come in many different guises: in some societies, healing is highly professional and specialized; in some cases, it is more preventative, in others more interventionist. Based on rich and wide-ranging ethnographic data and especially written for this volume, these essays look at how a great variety of health providers are perceived – from traditional healers to physicians, from diviners to nursing home providers. Conversely, the authors also ask how healers, or those concerned with wider matters of well being, view themselves and to what degree social attitudes differ in regard to who these people are, as well as their power, prestige and activities. As these essays demonstrate, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or state policy may all play formative roles in shaping the definition of health and wellbeing, how they are delivered, and the character and prestige of those who provide for our health and welfare in society.
Kent Maynard (1947-2014), was Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology at Denison University and a Visiting Fellow, at ISCA, University of Oxford.
Subject: Medical AnthropologySociology
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