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Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject

The main thesis of Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject is that, despite claims to the contrary, the possibility of thinking about ourselves in terms of our brains is not a recent development spurred by neuroscience. Rather, it stems from early modern (18th-century) ideas. Drawing on (neo-) Foucauldian concepts and thinking, Vidal and Ortega refer […]

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White Gold: Stories of Breast Milk Sharing

What does it mean to share human milk in the contemporary United States? In this edgy volume, Susan Falls tackles this question by examining a milk-sharing community in the southeastern United States. Although on the surface, Fall’s second ethnographic monograph appears to be a significant departure from her prior work on the diamond industry, her […]

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Conceptions: Infertility and Procreative Technologies in India

What are the ways in which the infertile and their clinicians “conceive” of infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in India? In Conceptions, Aditya Bharadwaj aims to draw attention to the “cultural conceptions that lie behind the struggles of the protagonists (patients/clinicians) who feature in this research” (p. 1). In doing so, Bharadwaj elucidates the diverse […]

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Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience

At one point in his fascinating new book about how neuroscientists talk about their autism research, Des Fitzgerald quotes a professor of psychology from South London. She marvels that some people on the spectrum tend to interpret statements in a literal fashion, which leads her to wonder why all of us don’t interpret things literally. […]

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Secure Lives: The Meaning and Importance of Culture in Secure Hospital Care

              Secure Lives: The Meaning and Importance of Culture in Secure Hospital Care by psychiatrist–anthropologist Annie Bartlett offers ethnographic insight into daily life and social relations in a high security hospital designed for people with severe mental illness who are also considered to be a danger to society. While […]

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Can Neuroscience Change Our Minds?

Two and a half decades after the launch of the Decade of the Brain, and in the midst of the new vogue about building friendlier bridges between neuroscience and the social sciences, humanities and industry, feminist sociologist Hilary Rose and neuroscientist Steven Rose’s concise and engaging narration of the state of all things neuro is […]

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Down’s Syndrome Screening and Reproductive Politics: Care, Choice, and Disability in the Prenatal Clinic

Medical anthropologists and sociologists who study reproductive medicine and technologies frequently apply ethnographic and interview-based methods to examine the meanings, practices, networks, and articulations of clinicians, patients, and other interested parties. Gareth M. Thomas, in his new work, contributes to this growing body of literature by studying a technology that, he argues, has become routinized […]

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The Patient Multiple: An Ethnography of Healthcare and Decision‐making in Bhutan

In The Patient Multiple, Jonathan Taee offers the first ethnographic exploration into patient health care–seeking behavior and healing narratives in Bhutan. While his focus is on patient subjectivities, Taee aims to provide an understanding of how patients and their health care–seeking narratives are affected by the contexts that frame their diagnosis, treatment, and illness understandings. […]

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Understanding Health Inequalities and Justice: New Conversations across the Disciplines

Understanding Health Inequalities and Justice: New Conversations across the Disciplines interrogates the theoretical and methodological assumptions behind common approaches to and policies surrounding health inequalities in the United States today. The editors—two anthropologists and one philosopher, all bioethicists—open with a series of heady introduction questions: What is justice? Inequality? Inequity? How should health-promoting resources and […]

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Thunder Shaman: Making History with Mapuche Spirits in Chile and Patagonia

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo’s Thunder Shaman: Making History with Mapuche Spirits in Chile and Patagonia is the creative and scholarly outcome of a friendship between the author and a Mapuche shaman, Francisca Kolipi, whom she served as ritual assistant. Effectively commissioned by Kolipi as a “bible” that would convey the story of her life and be […]

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