An Anthropology of Biomedicine by Margaret Lock, Vinh-Kim Nguyen

By Margaret Lock, Vinh-Kim Nguyen

An Anthropology of Biomedicine is a thrilling new creation to biomedicine and its worldwide implications. concentrating on the ways that the applying of biomedical applied sciences lead to radical alterations to societies at huge, cultural anthropologist Margaret Lock and her co-author health care provider and clinical anthropologist Vinh-Kim Nguyen boost and combine the thesis that the human physique in health and wellbeing and disease is the elusive made of nature and tradition that refuses to be pinned down.

  • Introduces biomedicine from an anthropological standpoint, exploring the entanglement of fabric our bodies with heritage, setting, tradition, and politics
  • Develops and integrates an unique concept: that the human physique in health and wellbeing and affliction isn't an ontological given yet a portable, malleable entity
  • Makes wide use of historic and modern ethnographic fabrics all over the world to demonstrate the significance of this methodological approach
  • Integrates key new examine facts with extra classical fabric, masking the administration of epidemics, famines, fertility and beginning, via army medical professionals from colonial occasions on
  • Uses various case stories to demonstrate suggestions equivalent to the worldwide commodification of human our bodies and physique components, smooth types of inhabitants, and the extension of biomedical applied sciences into family and intimate domain names
  • Winner of the 2010 Prose Award for Archaeology and Anthropology

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Extra resources for An Anthropology of Biomedicine

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However, it was not until 1942 that sufficient observations and experiments had been carried out and sufficient quantities of penicillin produced for it to be put formally into production in the United States, and then initially only on a small scale. It took even longer for ordinary doctors to appreciate its value and learn that the drug should be administered intravenously to be effective. 18 Technologies and Bodies in Context Ludwig Fleck argued in the first half of the 20th century that phenomena that scientists work with are the products of technologies, practices, and preconditioned ways of seeing and understanding.

The improbable chain of events in 1928 that led the Scottish researcher Alexander Fleming to observe the antibiotic properties of the rare mold, Penicillium notatum, is a well-known example of the humble origins of many biomedical technologies. Fleming rather carelessly left an open Petri dish smeared with Staphylococcus bacteria on his laboratory bench by an open window while he went away on a two-week holiday. When he returned a clear halo surrounded the yellow-green growth of the bacteria produced by a mold that had accidentally drifted into Fleming’s London lab from a mycology unit one floor below.

Inevitably it is at technologically manipulated margins between what is assumed to be the unassailable natural world and the encroaching boundaries of culture where concern and moral outrage is most evident in these dystopian accounts. Well over a decade ago, Pfaffenberger concluded that, as seen through a Modernist lens, technology is depicted as both creator and destroyer; an agent of future promise and at the same time of culture’s destruction,20 a position that has been reiterated repeatedly over the intervening years.

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