Rebranding our field?: Toward an articulation of health anthropology

Baer, H, Singer, M, Long, D and Erickson, P 2016, 'Rebranding our field?: Toward an articulation of health anthropology', Current Anthropology, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 494-510.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Rebranding our field?: Toward an articulation of health anthropology
Author(s) Baer, H
Singer, M
Long, D
Erickson, P
Year 2016
Journal name Current Anthropology
Volume number 57
Issue number 4
Start page 494
End page 510
Total pages 17
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Abstract In this article, we consider whether the term "medical anthropology" is serving us as well as it could be and whether the term "health anthropology" could be more appropriate. We argue that medical anthropology is used metonymically; that is, it is a part of the field that is used, inaccurately, to describe the whole. Anthropologists research, teach, and consult in health work in far broader contexts than the term "medical" implies. Continuing to describe ourselves as medical anthropologists privileges biomedicine over other conceptualizations of health and saddles us with the risk of making ethnocentric assumptions about health, wellness, and unwellness into the field. It reproduces a focus on the individual, which is not reflective of many health and healing systems. Given the maturity, diversity, and complexity of our subdiscipline, we ask whether "health anthropology" may be a more accurate description of our collective endeavor.
Subject Social and Cultural Anthropology
Keyword(s) medical anthropology
DOI - identifier 10.1086/687509
Copyright notice © 2016 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0011-3204
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