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Book Review: Anthropology of Infectious Disease

Designing a course on global public health from a social scientific perspective is challenging to say the least. One needs not only to introduce students to the topics, concepts, and relevant literature, but also provide them with all the historical, political, and social context they will invariably need to fully understand the biggest problems facing […]

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Book Review: Blind Spot: How Neoliberalism Infiltrated Global Health

Salmaan Keshavjee’s Blind Spot: How Neoliberalism Infiltrated Global Health provides an account of the ways in which neoliberal values and assumptions shape the goals and effects of global health interventions. The book is organized into four sections that follow developments in the global health industry, Soviet collapse in Badakhshan, and the local introduction of the […]

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Book Review: Twins Talk: What Twins Tell Us about Person, Self, and Society

Identical twins have long been the focus of scholarly attention, but as Dona Lee Davis argues in Twins Talk: What Twins Tell Us about Person, Self, and Society, these works have seldom focused on the experiences of twins as twins. Instead, twins have been valued as research instruments—tools for deriving general insights about human biology […]

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Book Review: Moral Laboratories: Family Peril and the Struggle for a Good Life

As an anthropologist working with U.S. families, I was thrilled to review Cheryl Mattingly’s Moral Laboratories. Writing—let alone theorizing—family life is terribly difficult and this book ambitiously takes on both tasks. Moral Laboratories is structured to provide a robust articulation of first-person virtue ethics. Part One draws a sharp contrast between Foucauldian and neo-Aristotilean ethical […]

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Book Review: The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy

The Clinic and Elsewhere is full of shadows. A key strength of the book is Meyers’s ability to present, gesture toward, and theoretically engage the shadow spaces of the individual addicted lives of the adolescents who appear and disappear throughout the text and the knowledge about addiction produced through clinical research pharmaceutical trails, medical charts, […]

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Book Review: Yaya’s Story: The Quest for Well-Being in the World

Despite its title, Yaya’s Story traces the intersections of two stories: a Nigerien trader of African art in New York and the author, anthropologist Paul Stoller. And although it promises to explore the shared desire to find well-being, the book could more accurately be described as an exploration of fieldwork and its subjects: Not just […]

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Book Review Essay: On Infertility (Barnes, Bell, Wilson)

Men, women of color, poor women, and women who are not seeking medical treatment—these are the individuals whose experiences of infertility seldom become considered in scholarly or popular discussion of childlessness in the contemporary United States. By drawing attention to the overlooked and unseen, the three books discussed here complicate our understanding not only of […]

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Book Review: Evidence, Ethos and Experiment

A title this temporally and topically broad promises far-reaching goals, and the volume that follows does not disappoint. It offers important details on the meaning, experience, and nature of scientific research in Africa as gleaned from anthropologists, historians, law professors, and ethicists as well as medical practitioners. It emerged from a 2005 conference on “Studying […]

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Book Review: Passage to Manhood

n this ambitious book, Taiwanese anthropologist Liu Shao-hua examines the lives of Nuosu heroin users in Liangshan County, in Sichuan Province in Southwest China. This ethnography takes us behind the mountains to illuminate the experiences of young men and women during the first decade of the millennium and the exponential rise in HIV and drug […]

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