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Book Review: Living Buddhism: Mind, Self, and Emotion in a Thai Community

Living Buddhism: Mind, Self, and Emotion in a Thai Community weaves the threads of formalized research methods, participant observation and personal relationships into a beautifully written argument for local psychological models of health and well-being. The book focuses on cultural psychology in Mae Jaeng, a town of approximately 50 households, north of Chiang Mai in […]

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Book Review: Chasing the Cure in New Mexico: Tuberculosis and the Quest for Health

On March 24, 1882, the German bacteriologist Robert Koch announced to the Berlin Physiological Society that he had isolated the cause of tuberculosis: a rod-shaped bacterium visible only under a microscope. With Koch’s discovery of a bacterial etiology for tuberculosis, hopes ran high among both physicians and sufferers that a cure would soon follow. But […]

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Book Review: A Passion for Society: How We Think about Human Suffering

Human suffering has long been a focus of anthropological attention. However, suffering can be difficult to grasp conceptually. In A Passion for Society, Ian Wilkinson and Arthur Kleinman provide readers with a historical and cultural overview of human and social suffering. In doing this, they call for critical reflection on the practice of social science, […]

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Book Review: Transplanting Care: Shifting Commitments in Health and Care in the U.S.

This book is, itself, suffused with care. Care—as logic, as politics, as mode of practice, and as a medium of relations both situated and situating—has captivated the scholarly imagination in recent years. In this ethnography of organ transplantation and its caregiving in the United States, Laura Heinneman illuminates the crucial yet often-invisible informal care work […]

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Book Review: Making Health Public: How News Coverage Is Remaking Media, Medicine and Contemporary Life

Research in health communication often situates news media as a translation tool, which, if applied to good effect, can shape how citizens access and understand health information. This common view describes how journalists, exercising privileged access to medical scientists, physicians, and other health officials, both render and diffuse biomedical knowledge into news that any individual […]

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Book Review: Culture and PTSD: Trauma in Global and Historical Perspective

It’s remarkable how far we have come from a view of psychiatry and mental illness shaped by Foucault and from a critical medical anthropology in which anthropologists wrote as angry outsiders, critics of what they perceived to be the dominant medical paradigm. Critical medical anthropology still has an important place at the table; anthropologists are […]

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Book Review: Patient-centered IVF. Bioethics and Care in a Dutch Clinic

The critical analysis of human reproduction and the expanding technologies of assisted conception and prenatal genetic diagnosis (united under the acronym ART—assisted reproductive technologies) is a growing field in medical sociology and anthropology. Trudie Gerrits’s book is a welcome addition to this burgeoning international literature: It offers a fascinating ethnographic case study of ART as […]

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Book Review: Preterm Birth in the United States: A Sociocultural Approach

Preterm Birth in the United States is an intricate and comprehensive exploration of the persistently high infant mortality rate in the United States, to which preterm birth is a major contributor. For various stakeholders, high infant mortality in the United States is at once an “enigma,” an “issue of concern,” an “indicator of the need […]

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Book Review: Extraordinary Conditions: Culture and Experience in Mental Illness

Extraordinary Conditions: Culture and Experience in Mental Illness conveys the wisdom of decades negotiating the “edge of experience” to navigate the sometimes thorny boundaries of anthropology, psychiatry, and public health. Jenkins conceptualizes a notion of mental illness that “refashions the boundaries between the ordinary and extraordinary, the routine and extreme, the healthy and the pathological” […]

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Book Review: Transnational Reproduction: Race, Kinship and Commercial Surrogacy in India

What ideologies of race, kinship, and inequality make the practice of transnational surrogacy in India possible? To answer this question, Transnational Reproduction relates stories of people, histories, technologies, flows of capital, and imaginaries as they come together through the practice of gestational surrogacy in India. Contributing a new ethnography to the rapidly growing scholarship in […]

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