One of the first medical ethnographies to be written on contemporary Vietnam, Familiar Medicine examines the practical ways in which people of the Red River Delta make sense of their bodies, illness, and medicine. Traditional knowledge and practices have persisted but are now expressed through and alongside global medical knowledge and commodities. Western medicine has been eagerly adopted and incorporated into everyday life in Vietnam, but not entirely on its own terms.
Familiar Medicine takes a conjectural, interdisciplinary approach to its subject, weaving together history, ethnography, cultural geography, and survey materials to provide a rich and readable account of local practices in the context of an increasingly globalized world and growing microbial resistance to antibiotics. Theoretically, it draws on current critical and cultural theory (in particular applying Pierre Bourdieu's work on habitus and practical logics) in innovative but approachable ways.
David Craig addresses a range of contemporary fascinations in medical anthropology and the sociology of health and illness: from the trafficking of medical commodities and ideas under globalization to the hybridization of local cultural formations, knowledge, and practices. His book will be required reading for international workers in health and development in Vietnam and a rich resource for courses in cultural geography, anthropology, medical sociology, regional studies, and public and international health.