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Health, Risk, and Adversity

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Volume 2

Studies of the Biosocial Society

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Health, Risk, and Adversity

Edited by Catherine Panter-Brick and Agustin Fuentes
Foreword by Alan Goodman

310 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-455-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2008)

ISBN  978-1-84545-281-0 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (August 2010)

eISBN 978-1-84545-871-3 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"[This volume] is very well organized, overall, with a layout ideal for students and academics who are looking to collaborate with their colleagues in anthropology and public health. The chapter structures offer well thought out summaries; a helpful glossary is found in the back. Those curious about human action and inaction as sources of ill health will find adversity and risk’s impact on health clearly and vibrantly displayed through Panter-Brick and Fuentes’ bio-cultural investigation of unequal health outcomes."  ·  Journal of the Bio-Social Society

"These are vibrant and important treatments of socio-cultural concepts in health that fit well into medical anthropology, but also go beyond that. Their contribution lies in reminding and refining how human health and biology are produced, perceived, and communicated in a deep social context that includes history, politics, economics, and current global culture, especially modern media.… The editors have brilliantly organized the volume."  ·  Stephen T. McGarvey, Professor of Community Health and Anthropology, Brown University


Research on health involves evaluating the disparities that are systematically associated with the experience of risk, including genetic and physiological variation, environmental exposure to poor nutrition and disease, and social marginalization. This volume provides a unique perspective - a comparative approach to the analysis of health disparities and human adaptability - and specifically focuses on the pathways that lead to unequal health outcomes. From an explicitly anthropological perspective situated in the practice and theory of biosocial studies, this book combines theoretical rigor with more applied and practice-oriented approaches and critically examines infectious and chronic diseases, reproduction, and nutrition.

Catherine Panter-Brick is Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. Her research focuses on critical risks to health across key stages of human development. She has edited severa books to bridge research findings into teaching practice, such as Biosocial Perspectives on Children (1998), Hormones, Health, and Behavior (1999), Abandoned Children (2000), and Hunter-Gatherers (2001). She is Senior Editor (Medical Anthropology Section) for Social Science & Medicine.

Agustín Fuentes is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, US. His research interests focus on primate and human behavior, pathogen transmission, and patterns in human and primate evolution. He has co-edited three books, The Non-Human Primates (1999), Primates Face to Face (2002), Primates in Perspective (2006) and recently completed a textbook in biological anthropology, Core Concepts in Biological Anthropology (2006). His most recent book is Evolution of Human Behavior (2008).

Subject: Medical Anthropology


List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Boxes

Foreword: Framing Risk, Adversity and Health
Alan Goodman

Introduction: Health, Risk, Adversity: A Contextual View from Anthropology
Catherine Panter-Brick and Agustín Fuentes


Commentary I: Understanding Health Past and Present
Charlotte Roberts

Chapter 1. Health Consequences of Social and Ecological Adversity Among Indigenous Siberian Populations: Biocultural and Evolutionary Implications
William R Leonard, J Josh Snodgrass and Mark V Sorenson

Chapter 2. A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Risk and Context of Emerging Primate-borne Zoonoses
Lisa Jones-Engel and Gregory Engel

Chapter 3. Viral Panic, Vulnerability and the Next Pandemic
Ann Herring

Appendix I: Was the 1918 Pandemic Caused by a Bird Flu Virus?
Appendix II: Applying the Syndemic Approach: Whooping Cough at York


Commentary II: Thinking About Health Through Time and Across Generations
Darna Dufour

Chapter 4. Adaptation, Health and the Temporal Domain of Human Reproductive Physiology
Peter Ellison and Grazyna Jasienska

Chapter 5. Changes in Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Migrant Women: An inter-generation comparison among Bangladeshis in the UK
Alejandra Núñez-de-la-Mora and Gillian R. Bentley

Chapter 6. Family Structure and Child Growth in sub-Saharan Africa: Assessing “hidden risk”
Daniel W. Sellen

Appendix: Poor Growth and Risk of Death


Commentary III: Explaining Health Inequalities
Bill Dressler

Chapter 7. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Keith Godfrey and Mark Hanson

Chapter 8. Beyond the Gradient: An Integrative Anthropological Perspective on Social Stratification, Stress, and Health
Thomas McDade

Chapter 9. The Slavery Hypothesis: An Evaluation of a Genetic-Deterministic Explanation for Hypertension Prevalence Rate Inequalities
Lorena Madrigal, Mwenza Blell, Ernesto Ruiz and Flory Otarola

Conclusion: Adversity, Risk and Health: A View from Public Health
Martin White


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