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Epidemiology and Culture

£24.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology

  • Date Published: May 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521793896

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About the Authors
  • This book shows how practitioners in the emerging field of 'cultural epidemiology' describe human health, communicate with diverse audiences, and intervene to improve health and prevent disease. It uses textual and statistical portraits of disease to describe past and present collaborations between anthropology and epidemiology. Interpreting epidemiology as a cultural practice helps to reveal the ways in which measurement, causal thinking, and intervention design are all influenced by belief, habit, and theories of power. By unpacking many common disease risks and epidemiologic categories, this book reveals unexamined assumptions and shows how sociocultural context influences measurement of disease. Examples include studies of epilepsy, cholera, mortality on the Titanic, breastfeeding, and adolescent smoking. The book describes methods as varied as observing individuals, measuring social networks, and compiling data from death certificates. It argues that effective public health interventions must work more often and better at the level of entire communities.

    • Demonstrates how individual decisions and beliefs become health patterns of populations
    • Written in accessible language and with many examples for upper-level undergraduates, graduate students in public health and medicine, and practising professionals
    • Includes lists of recommended readings for each chapter as well as extensive references
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The strength of this book lies in its broad scope that covers history, methods, case studies, and current issues. Each chapter has a further reading list and importantly, Trostle provides comprehensive references which include some of the most seminal research studies in the fields of social medicine, social epidemioloy, and medical anthropology … Trostle's book is the first that I am aware of that provides such a broad and accessible review of the history and current state of the field of culture/medical anthropology.' Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521793896
    • length: 230 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.31kg
    • contains: 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The origins of an integrated approach in anthropology and epidemiology
    3. Disease patterns and assumptions: unpacking variables
    4. Cultural issues in measurement and bias
    5. Anthropological contributions to the study of cholera
    6. Anthropological and epidemiological collaboration to help communities become healthier
    7. Perceiving and representing risk
    8. Conclusion.

  • Author

    James A. Trostle, Trinity College, Connecticut
    James A. Trostle is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Urban Initiatives at Trinity College, Hartford. He has worked in more than 35 countries during his career in international health, and has been invited to lecture in several others. He has co-authored, in Spanish, De la Investigación en Salud a la Política: La Difícil Traducción (From Health Research to Policy: The Difficult Translation). He has published in Health, Policy and Planning; Neurology; The Annual Review of Anthropology; Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry; Medical Anthropology Quarterly; and most frequently in Social Science & Medicine. Professor Trostle has been a Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organization, and presently sits on a WHO Task Force on Research to Policy as well as on the WHO Human Reproduction Programme Regional Advisory Panel for the Americas.

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