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Medical Identities: Healing, Well Being and Personhood

Medical Identities: Healing, Well Being and Personhood (Paperback)

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Illness and other forms of misfortune are ubiquitous; thus, healing and care giving are equally universal. Ironically, however, little attention has been paid to the identity of those who heal or promote well-being. These roles come in many guises: healing may be highly professional and specialized, or far less formal; some societies are most concerned with prevention, while others focus on intervention. Based on rich and wide-ranging ethnographic data, and especially written for this volume, these essays look at the self-fashioning of a wide variety of healers and promoters of well-being, whether acupuncturists or physicians, diviners or nursing home providers. Conversely, the authors also ask how caregivers are viewed by others, and how their identities are influenced by wider social and cultural factors. As these essays demonstrate, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or state policy may all play formative roles in shaping the definition of health and well-being, how they are delivered, and the character and prestige of those who provide for our health and welfare in society.

Medical & VeterinaryMedicine: general issues Publisher: Berghahn Books Publication Date: 19/02/2007 ISBN-13: 9781845451004  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Kent Maynard is Professor of Sociology/Anthropology and Director of the Honors Program at Denison University, USA. His research interests include identity, medical anthropology and ethnographic poetry, with work on religious identity in Ecuador and indigenous medicine in Cameroon. His most recent book is Making Kedjom Medicine: A History of Public Health and Well-Being in Cameroon (Praeger 2004).

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