This book provides a brief, to-the-point book that is grounded in ethnographic research, written expressly for use in medical anthropology courses—that is, structured to highlight concepts and issues typically examined in such classes and to make overt the connections between ethnographic detail and big concepts.
Based on primary research conducted in Tanzania over the last fifteen years, X-Rays, Spirits, and Witches, provides an ethnography specifically designed for use in medical anthropology classes. The text is organized around four key topics that are recurrent themes in medical anthropology across diverse settings: medical pluralism, illness narratives, embodied experiences of health and illness, and the multilayered ways that power dynamics influence healthcare.
In addition to telling an engaging story of health, illness, and medical treatment as experienced in a real-world setting, the chapters link anthropological terms and concepts to specific events. Unobtrusive in-text definitions as well as a complementary glossary of terms help students recognize and employ the language of medical anthropology. Short pull-out boxes explore key concepts (such as the idea of “the medical gaze”) and highlight for further consideration issues which are of particular relevance in the medical anthropology classroom. Such pedagogical elements are designed to complement but not bog down the ethnography—enabling students to make better connections between real-world research and core textbook concepts.
1: Background and Context
2: Medical Pluralism
3: Managing and Negotiating Therapy
4: Embodied Health and Illness
5: Power and Health
6: Alphabet Soup: The Effects of HIV/AIDS and ART