Anthropology in Public Health: Bridging Differences in Culture and Society

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Robert A. Hahn, Kate W. Harris
Oxford University Press, 1999 - Medical - 384 pages
Cultural and social boundaries often separate those who participate in public health activities, and it is a major challenge to translate public health knowledge and technical capacity into public health action across these boundaries. This book provides an overview of anthropology and illustrates in 15 case studies how anthropological concepts and methods can help us understand and resolve diverse public health problems around the world. For example, one chapter shows how differences in concepts and terminology among patients, clinicians, and epidemiologists in a southwestern U.S. county hinder the control of epidemics. Another chapter examines reasons that Mexican farmers don't use protective equipment when spraying pesticides and suggests ways to increase use. Another examines the culture of international health agencies, demonstrates institutional values and practices that impede effective public health practice, and suggests issues that must be addressed to enhance institutional organization and process.; Each chapter characterizes a public health problem, describes methods used to analyse it, reviews results, and discusses implications; several chapters also describe and evaluate programs designed to address the problem on the basis of anthropological knowledge. The book provides practical models and indicates anthropological tools to translate public health knowledge and technical capacity into public health action.

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1 Anthropology and the Enhancement of Public Health Practice
Infectious Disease
Pharmacy and Nutrition
Injury and Occupational Health
Community Health
Health Institutions
Resources in Anthropology

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About the author (1999)

Robert A. Hahn is at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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