The editors of the third edition of the seminal textbook Understanding and Applying Medical Anthropology bring it completely up to date for both instructors and students. The collection of 49 readings (17 of them new to this edition) offers extensive background description and exposes students to the breadth of theoretical, methodological, and practical perspectives and issues in the field of medical anthropology. The text provides specific examples and case studies of research as it is applied to a range of health settings: from cross-cultural clinical encounters to cultural analysis of new biomedical technologies and the implementation of programs in global health settings. The new edition features:

• a major revision that eliminates many older readings in favor of more fresh, relevant selections;

• a new section on structural violence that looks at the impact of poverty and other forms of social marginalization on health;

• an updated and expanded section on “Conceptual Tools,” including new research and ideas that are currently driving the field of medical anthropology forward (such as epigenetics and syndemics);

• new chapters on climate change, Ebola, PTSD among Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, eating disorders, and autism, among others;

• recent articles from Margaret Mead Award winners Sera Young, Seth Holmes, and Erin Finley, along with new articles by such established medical anthropologists as Paul Farmer and Merrill Singer.


chapter |2 pages

To the Instructor

ByPeter J Brown, Svea Closser

chapter |2 pages

To the Student

ByPeter J Brown, Svea Closser

part 1|320 pages


chapter 1|12 pages

Medical Anthropology

An Introduction
ByPeter J Brown, Svea Closser

chapter 2|12 pages

Stone Agers in the Fast Lane

Chronic Degenerative Diseases in Evolutionary Perspective
ByS. Boyd Eaton, Marjorie Shostak, Melvin Konner

chapter 3|8 pages

Fundamentals of Evolutionary Medicine

ByHoward Chiou

chapter 4|5 pages

Skin Deep

ByNina Jablonski, George Chaplin

chapter 5|6 pages

Disease and Dying while Black

How Racism, Not Race, Gets under the Skin
ByAlan Goodman

chapter 6|15 pages


A Biocultural Approach to Curious and Compelling Cravings
BySera Young

chapter 7|12 pages

Adaptations to Endemic Malaria in Sardinia

ByPeter J Brown

chapter 8|11 pages

Evolutionary, Historical, and Political Economic Perspectives on Health and Disease

ByGeorge J. Armelagos, Peter J Brown, Bethany Turner

chapter 9|6 pages

Determinants of Health

ByThomas McKeown

chapter 12|13 pages

Culture, Scarcity, and Maternal Thinking

Maternal Detachment and Infant Survival in a Brazilian Sharitytown
ByNancy Scheper-Hughes

chapter 13|15 pages

"Oaxacans Like to Work Bent Over"

The Naturalization of Social Suffering among Berry Farm Workers
BySeth M. Holmes

chapter 14|9 pages

Does America Really Want to Solve Its Drug Problem?

ByMerrill Singer

chapter 15|13 pages

Syndemic Suffering

Rethinking Social and Health Problems among Mexican Immigrant Women
ByEmily Mendenhall

chapter 16|8 pages

Disease Etiologies in Non-Western Medical Systems

ByGeorge M. Foster

chapter 17|9 pages

The Healing Lessons of Ethnomedicine

ByPamela I. Erickson

chapter 18|7 pages

The Sorcerer and His Magic

ByClaude Lévi-Strauss

chapter 19|9 pages

Beyond the Doctor's White Coat

Science, Ritual, and Healing in American Biomedicine
ByBisan Salhi

chapter 20|9 pages

Doctors and Patients

The Role of Clinicians in the Placebo Effect
ByDaniel Moerman

chapter 21|6 pages

The Nocebo Phenomenon

Concept, Evidence, and Implications for Public Health
ByRobert A. Hahn

chapter 22|11 pages

Learning to Be a Leper

A Case Study in the Social Construction of Illness
ByNancy E. Waxler

chapter 24|12 pages

The Damaged Self

ByRobert F. Murphy

chapter 25|12 pages

Medical Metaphors of Women's Bodies

Menstruation and Menopause
ByEmily Martin

chapter 26|3 pages

Religion and Reproductive Technologies

ByMarcia C. Inhorn

chapter 27|9 pages

Spare Parts for Sale

Violence, Exploitation, Suffering
ByMonir Moniruzzaman

chapter 28|12 pages

Inventing a New Death and Making It Believable

ByMargaret Lock

chapter 29|11 pages

Do Psychiatric Disorders Differ in Different Cultures?

ByArthur Kleinman

chapter 30|9 pages

What in the World Is Autism?

A Cross-Cultural Perspective
ByRoy Richard Grinker

chapter 31|11 pages

“I Came Back for This?” Veterans Living with PTSD

ByErin P. Finley

part 2|116 pages


chapter 32|8 pages

Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine

ByPaul Farmer, Bruce Nizeye, Sara Stulac, Salmaan Keshavjee

chapter 33|6 pages

Anthropology in the Clinic

The Problem of Cultural Competency and How to Fix It
ByArthur Kleinman, Peter Benson

chapter 34|3 pages

Health Beliefs and Compliance with Prescribed Medication for Hypertension among Black Women

New Orleans 1985–1986
BySuzanne Heurtin-Roberts, Efrain Reisin

chapter 35|10 pages

Cultural Competence and Its Discontents

BySarah Willen, Anne Kohler

chapter 36|8 pages

The Nature of Stigma and Medical Conditions

ByJoan Ablon

chapter 37|5 pages

Coping with Stigma

Lifelong Adaptation of Deaf People
ByGaylene Becker

chapter 38|6 pages

Stigma in the Time of Influenza

Social and Institutional Responses to Pandemic Emergencies
ByRon Barrett, Peter J Brown

chapter 39|11 pages

What Happens When Food Prices Skyrocket?

An Ethiopian Example
ByCraig Hadley, Jed Stevenson, Yemserach Tadesse, Tefara Belachew

chapter 40|6 pages

De-Medicalizing Anorexia

A New Cultural Brokering
ByRichard A. O’Connor, Penny Van Esterik

chapter 41|8 pages

Expanding Bodies in a Shrinking World

Anthropological Perspectives on the Global “Obesity Epidemic”
ByAlexandra Brewis

chapter 42|2 pages

It Takes a Village Healer

Can Traditional Medicine Remedy Africa’s AIDS Crisis?
ByMatthew Steinglass

chapter 43|10 pages

Sociocultural Dynamics of Female Genital Cutting

ByEllen Gruenbaum

chapter 44|8 pages

The Polio Eradication Initiative in Pakistan

Anthropological Perspectives on Why the World’s Largest Global Health Program May Fail
BySvea Closser

chapter 45|11 pages

“All I Eat Is ARVs”

The Paradox of AIDS Treatment Interventions in Central Mozambique
ByIppolytos Andreas Kalofonos