A Career In Medical Anthropology

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One of the most crucial decisions in a person’s lifetime is what career they choose to pursue. Due to there being a large quantity of career options available it can take a while to commit to one career. As a person examines their interests more closely they can begin to narrow their choices to a handful of options from the thousands available. Once the options have been narrowed to approximately ten, the choice can either become simple or more complicated. Many careers have separate branches inside that career. For example, Anthropology has five main categories. The categories are archaeology, applied, biological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology. Each discipline requires a different set of skills, information, classes, and interests.…show more content…
Medical Anthropology is a sub-discipline of anthropology. It pulls from the five main disciplines to perfectly blend them together in relation to health and disease/illness in any given society. Medical anthropologists are normally not doctors of medicine but they are usually within the health care system since they provide an insight to cultural aspects in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases (“What is Medical Anthropology, Anyway?,” 2013). Medical anthropology addresses the symbolic, narrative, and ethical dimensions of healing. They address these by exploring how different communities view wellness, illness, disease, and healing from their perspective. They look for themes within the structure and systems of different communities between various cultures (Kleinman & Benson, 2006). Some medical anthropologists examine cultures with larger scale approach by focusing on how political and economic equality can influence disease (Bailey,…show more content…
Lévi-Strauss, “the father of structural anthropology,” explains how a cultural myth creates meaning out of the disorder and chaos of a painfully complicated birth, which in turn produces a medicinal effect on the distressed woman. As he points out it is the cultural meaning which gives the cure its power: “That the mythology of the shaman does not correspond to an objective reality does not matter. The sick woman believes in the myth and belongs to a society which believes in it.”(Lévi-Strauss, 1973, p. 197). Thus we see how medical anthropology studies and provides analysis on the issues of the body, bodily perception, and the representation of the body, as well as meaning and symbolism. Also, we see how medical anthropology takes these interpretations and uses them to critique the system’s
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