Life Beside Itself

Author: Lisa Stevenson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520282604
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"This ethnographic study examines two historical moments in the Canadian Arctic: the Inuit tuberculosis epidemic (1940s to the early 1960s) and the subsequent suicide epidemic (1980s to the present). The colonial Canadian North was imagined as a laboratory for a social experiment to transform Inuit into bona fide Canadian citizens by, among other things, reducing their death rate. This experiment demanded Inuit cooperation with the forms of anonymous care the state provided--including the evacuation of tubercular Inuit Southern Sanatoria, which left many Inuit families without the story or image of their loved one's death. A similar indifference to who lives or dies is manifest in the adoption of the "suicide hotline"--an explicitly anonymous form of care where caregivers exhort unidentified Inuit to live while simultaneously expecting them to die. Through attention to the images through which people think and dream, Stevenson describes a world in which life is "beside itself": the name-soul of a teenager who dies in a crash lives again in his friend's newborn baby, a young girl shares a last smoke with a dead friend in a dream, the possessed hands of a clock spin uncontrollably over its face. For the Inuit, life is "somewhere else," and Stevenson attempts to articulate forms of care adequate to that truth"--

Life Beside Itself

Author: Lisa Stevenson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520958551
Format: PDF, Docs
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In Life Beside Itself, Lisa Stevenson takes us on a haunting ethnographic journey through two historical moments when life for the Canadian Inuit has hung in the balance: the tuberculosis epidemic (1940s to the early 1960s) and the subsequent suicide epidemic (1980s to the present). Along the way, Stevenson troubles our commonsense understanding of what life is and what it means to care for the life of another. Through close attention to the images in which we think and dream and through which we understand the world, Stevenson describes a world in which life is beside itself: the name-soul of a teenager who dies in a crash lives again in his friend’s newborn baby, a young girl shares a last smoke with a dead friend in a dream, and the possessed hands of a clock spin uncontrollably over its face. In these contexts, humanitarian policies make little sense because they attempt to save lives by merely keeping a body alive. For the Inuit, and perhaps for all of us, life is "somewhere else," and the task is to articulate forms of care for others that are adequate to that truth.

Life Beside Itself

Author: Lisa Stevenson
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780520282940
Format: PDF
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Takes us on a haunting ethnographic journey through two historical moments when life for the Canadian Inuit has hung in the balance: the tuberculosis epidemic (1940s to the early 1960s) and the subsequent suicide epidemic (1980s to the present). Simultaneous eBook.

Critical Inuit Studies

Author: Pamela R. Stern
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 0803253788
Format: PDF, Docs
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Critical Inuit Studies offers an overview of the current state of Inuit studies by bringing together the insights and fieldwork of more than a dozen scholars from six countries currently working with Native communities in the far north. The volume showcases the latest methodologies and interpretive perspectives, presents a multitude of instructive case studies with individuals and communities, and shares the personal and professional insights from the fieldwork and thought of distinguished researchers. The wide-ranging topics in this collection include the development of a circumpolar research policy; the complex identities of Inuit in the twenty-first century; the transformative relationship between anthropologist and collaborator; the participatory method of conducting research; the interpretation of body gesture and the reproduction of culture; the use of translation in oral history, memory and the construction of a collective Inuit identity; the intricate relationship between politics, indigenous citizenship and resource development; the importance of place names, housing policies and the transition from igloos to permanent houses; and social networks in the urban setting of Montreal.

Migrants in Translation

Author: Cristiana Giordano
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520276655
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Migrants in Translation is an ethnographic reflection on foreign migration, mental health, and cultural translation in Italy. Its larger context is Europe and the rapid shifts in cultural and political identities that are negotiated between cultural affinity and a multicultural, multiracial Europe. The issue of migration and cultural difference figures as central in the process of forming diverse yet unified European identities. In this context, legal and illegal foreigners—mostly from Eastern Europe and Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa—are often portrayed as a threat to national and supranational identities, security, cultural foundations, and religious values. This book addresses the legal, therapeutic, and moral techniques of recognition and cultural translation that emerge in response to these social uncertainties. In particular, Migrants in Translation focuses on Italian ethno-psychiatry as an emerging technique that provides culturally appropriate therapeutic services exclusively to migrants, political refugees, and victims of torture and trafficking. Cristiana Giordano argues that ethno-psychiatry’s focus on cultural identifications as therapeutic—inasmuch as it complies with current political desires for diversity and multiculturalism—also provides a radical critique of psychiatric, legal, and moral categories of inclusion, and allows for a rethinking of the politics of recognition.

Knowledge Power and Practice

Author: Shirley Lindenbaum
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520077857
Format: PDF
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These original essays, which combine theoretical argument with empirical observation, constitute a state-of-the-art platform for future research in medical anthropology. Ranging in time and locale, the essays are based on research in historical and cultural settings. The contributors accept the notion that all knowledge is socially and culturally constructed and examine the contexts in which that knowledge is produced and practiced in medicine, psychiatry, epidemiology, and anthropology. Professionals in behavioral medicine, public health, and epidemiology as well as medical anthropologists will find their insights significant.

Dreamworlds of Alabama

Author: Allen C. Shelton
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452913315
Format: PDF, Docs
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An evocative memoir reflects on the physical, social, cultural, and historical landscapes of the rural South as the author describes growing up in the foothills of the Appalachians in northeastern Alabama.

Syrian Episodes

Author: John Borneman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400831968
Format: PDF
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When Princeton anthropologist John Borneman arrived in Syria's second-largest city in 2004 as a visiting Fulbright professor, he took up residence in what many consider a "rogue state" on the frontline of a "clash of civilizations" between the Orient and the West. Hoping to understand intimate interactions of religious, political, and familial authority in this secular republic, Borneman spent much time among different men, observing and becoming part of their everyday lives. Syrian Episodes is the striking result. Recounting his experience of living and lecturing in Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city, John Borneman offers deft, first-person stories of the longings and discontents expressed by Syrian sons and fathers, as well as a prescient analysis of the precarious power held by the regime, its relation to domestic authority, and the conditions of its demise. Combining literary imagination and anthropological insight, the book's discrete narratives converge in an unforgettable portrait of contemporary culture in Aleppo. We read of romantic seductions, rumors of spying, the play of light in rooms, the bargaining of tourists in bazaars, and an attack of wild dogs. With unflinching honesty and frequent humor, Borneman describes his encounters with students and teachers, customers and merchants, and women and families, many of whom are as intrigued with the anthropologist as he is with them. Refusing to patronize those he meets or to minimize his differences with them, Borneman provokes his interlocutors, teasing out unexpected confidences, comic responses, and mutual misunderstandings. He engages the curiosity and desire of encounter and the possibility of ethical conduct that is willing to expose cultural differences. Combining literary imagination and anthropological insight, Syrian Episodes offers an unforgettable portrait of contemporary culture in Aleppo.

Disrupted Lives

Author: Gay Becker
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520919242
Format: PDF, ePub
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Our lives are full of disruptions, from the minor—a flat tire, an unexpected phone call—to the fateful—a diagnosis of infertility, an illness, the death of a loved one. In the first book to examine disruption in American life from a cultural rather than a psychological perspective, Gay Becker follows hundreds of people to find out what they do after something unexpected occurs. Starting with bodily distress, she shows how individuals recount experiences of disruption metaphorically, drawing on important cultural themes to help them reestablish order and continuity in their lives. Through vivid and poignant stories of people from different walks of life who experience different types of disruptions, Becker examines how people rework their ideas about themselves and their worlds, from the meaning of disruption to the meaning of life itself. Becker maintains that to understand disruption, we must also understand cultural definitions of normalcy. She questions what is normal for a family, for health, for womanhood and manhood, and for growing older. In the United States, where life is expected to be orderly and predictable, disruptions are particularly unsettling, she contends. And, while continuity in life is an illusion, it is an effective one because it organizes people's plans and expectations. Becker's phenomenological approach yields a rich, compelling, and entirely original narrative. Disrupted Lives acknowledges the central place of discontinuity in our existence at the same time as it breaks new ground in understanding the cultural dynamics that underpin life in the United States. FROM THE BOOK:"The doctor was blunt. He does not mince words. He did a [semen] analysis and he came back and said, 'This is devastatingly poor.' I didn't expect to hear that. It had never occurred to me. It was such a shock to my sense of self and to all these preconceptions of my manliness and virility and all of that. That was a very, very devastating moment and I was dumbfounded. . . . In that moment it totally changed the way that I thought of myself."

A Heart for the Work

Author: Claire L. Wendland
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226893278
Format: PDF
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Burnout is common among doctors in the West, so one might assume that a medical career in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, would place far greater strain on the idealism that drives many doctors. But, as A Heart for the Work makes clear, Malawian medical students learn to confront poverty creatively, experiencing fatigue and frustration but also joy and commitment on their way to becoming physicians. The first ethnography of medical training in the global South, Claire L. Wendland’s book is a moving and perceptive look at medicine in a world where the transnational movement of people and ideas creates both devastation and possibility. Wendland, a physician anthropologist, conducted extensive interviews and worked in wards, clinics, and operating theaters alongside the student doctors whose stories she relates. From the relative calm of Malawi’s College of Medicine to the turbulence of training at hospitals with gravely ill patients and dramatically inadequate supplies, staff, and technology, Wendland’s work reveals the way these young doctors engage the contradictions of their circumstances, shedding new light on debates about the effects of medical training, the impact of traditional healing, and the purposes of medicine.