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Better Doctors, Better Patients, Better Decisions Cover

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Better Doctors, Better Patients, Better Decisions

Envisioning Health Care 2020

edited by Gerd Gigerenzer and J.A. Muir Gray

How eliminating “risk illiteracy” among doctors and patients will lead to better health care decision making.

Beyond Groupthink Cover

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Beyond Groupthink

Political Group Dynamics and Foreign Policy-making

Paul 't Hart, Eric K. Stern, and Bengt Sundelius, Editors

Strategic issues and crises in foreign policy are usually managed by relatively small groups of elite policymakers and their closest advisors. Since the pioneering work of Irving Janis in the early 1970s, we have known that the interplay between the members of these groups can have a profound and, indeed, at times a pernicious influence on the content and quality of foreign policy decisions. Janis argued that "groupthink," a term he used to describe a tendency for extreme concurrence-seeking in decision-making groups, was a major cause of a number of U.S. foreign policy fiascoes. And yet not all small groups suffer from groupthink; in fact many high-level bodies are handicapped by an inability to achieve consensus at all. Beyond Groupthink builds upon and extends Janis's legacy. The contributors develop a richer understanding of group dynamics by drawing on alternate views of small-group dynamics. The relevant literature is reviewed and the different perspectives are explored in detailed case studies. The contributors link the group process to the broader organizational and political context of the policy process and stress the need to develop a multi-level understanding of the collegial policy-making process, combining the insights drawn from micro-level theories with those derived from study of broader political phenomena. The contributors include Alexander George, Sally Riggs Fuller, Paul D. Hoyt, Ramon J. Aldag, Max V. Metselaar, Bertjan Verbeek, J. Thomas Preston, Jean A. Garrison, and Yaacov Y. I. Vertzberger. This book should appeal to political scienctists and international relations specialists, as well as researchers in social psychology, public administration, and management interested in group decision-making processes. Paul 't Hart is Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration, Leiden University and Scientific Director of of the Leiden-Rotterdam Crisis Research Center. Eric Stern is Professor of Political Science at Stockholm University. Bengt Sundelius is Professor of Political Science at Stockholm University.

Beyond Health, Beyond Choice Cover

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Beyond Health, Beyond Choice

Breastfeeding Constraints and Realities

Edited by Paige Hall Smith, Bernice L Hausman, and Miriam Labbok

Current public health promotion of breastfeeding relies heavily on health messaging and individual behavior change. Women are told that “breast is best” but too little serious attention is given to addressing the many social, economic, and political factors that combine to limit women’s real choice to breastfeed beyond a few days or weeks. The result: women’s, infants’, and public health interests are undermined.  Beyond Health, Beyond Choice examines how feminist perspectives can inform public health support for breastfeeding.

 

Written by authors from diverse disciplines, perspectives, and countries, this collection of essays is arranged thematically and considers breastfeeding in relation to public health and health care; work and family; embodiment (specifically breastfeeding in public); economic and ethnic factors; guilt; violence; and commercialization. By examining women’s experiences and bringing feminist insights to bear on a public issue, the editors attempt to reframe the discussion to better inform public health approaches and political action. Doing so can help us recognize the value of breastfeeding for the public’s health and the important productive and reproductive contributions women make to the world.

Beyond the Century of the Child Cover

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Beyond the Century of the Child

Cultural History and Developmental Psychology

Edited by Willem Koops and Michael Zuckerman

In 1900, Ellen Key wrote the international bestseller The Century of the Child. In this enormously influential book, she proposed that the world's children should be the central work of society during the twentieth century. Although she never thought that her "century of the child" would become a reality, in fact it had much more resonance than she could have imagined.

The idea of the child as a product of a protective and coddling society has given rise to major theories and arguments since Key's time. For the past half century, the study of the child has been dominated by two towering figures, the psychologist Jean Piaget and the historian Philippe Ariès. Interest in the subject has been driven in large measure by Ariès's argument that adults failed even to have a concept of childhood before the thirteenth century, and that from the thirteenth century to the seventeenth there was an increasing "childishness" in the representations of children and an increasing separation between the adult world and that of the child. Piaget proposed that children's logic and modes of thinking are entirely different from those of adults. In the twentieth century this distance between the spheres of children and adults made possible the distinctive study of child development and also specific legislation to protect children from exploitation, abuse, and neglect. Recent students of childhood have challenged the ideas those titans promoted; they ask whether the distancing process has gone too far and has begun to reverse itself.

In a series of essays, Beyond the Century of the Child considers the history of childhood from the Middle Ages to modern times, from America and Europe to China and Japan, bringing together leading psychologists and historians to question whether we unnecessarily infantilized children and unwittingly created a detrimental wall between the worlds of children and adults. Together these scholars address the question whether, a hundred years after Ellen Key wrote her international sensation, the century of the child has in fact come to an end.

Beyond Words Cover

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Beyond Words

Illness and the Limits of Expression

Kathlyn Conway

“Kathlyn Conway opens primordial questions about the shattering events of illness through close readings of selected illness narratives, proposing that only writing of a daring kind can utter the knowledge of the self-telling body. Wielding her ferocious intellect and braving exposure to self and other, Conway makes original discoveries about writing and illness and, more stunningly, about writing and life. Not a book about illness, this is a book about writing and being. It is taut, brave, unequalled in our scholarship, and true. Conway joins our most powerful investigators of the human predicament of mortality, helping us to see, helping us to live.”—Rita Charon, Columbia University, Program in Narrative Medicine

Published accounts of illness and disability often emphasize hope and positive thinking: the woman who still looked beautiful after losing her hair, the man who ran five miles a day during chemotherapy. This acclaimed examination of the genre of the illness narrative questions that upbeat approach. Author Kathlyn Conway, a three-time cancer survivor and herself the author of an illness memoir, believes that the triumphalist approach to writing about illness fails to do justice to the shattering experience of disease. By wrestling with the challenge of writing about the reality of serious illness and injury, she argues, writers can offer a truer picture of the complex relationship between body and mind.

Bioarchaeological Studies of Life in the Age of Agriculture Cover

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Bioarchaeological Studies of Life in the Age of Agriculture

A View from the Southeast

Edited by Patricia M. Lambert, with contributions from Keith Jacobi, David C. We

Investigations of skeletal remains from key archaeological sites reveal new data and offer insights on prehistoric life and health in the
Southeast.

The shift from foraging to farming had important health consequences for prehistoric peoples, but variations in health existed

within communities that had made this transition. This new collection draws on the rich bioarchaeological record of the Southeastern United States
to explore variability in health and behavior within the age of agriculture. It offers new perspectives on human adaptation to various geographic and
cultural landscapes across the entire Southeast, from Texas to Virginia, and presents new data from both classic and little-known sites.

The contributors question the reliance on simple cause-and-effect relationships in human health and behavior by addressing such key bioarchaeological issues as disease history and epidemiology, dietary composition and sufficiency, workload stress, patterns of violence, mortuary practices, and biological consequences of European contact. They also advance our understanding of agriculture by showing that uses of maize were more varied than has been previously supposed.

Representing some of the best work being done today by physical anthropologists, this volume provides new insights into human adaptation for both archaeologists and osteologists. It attests to the heterogeneous character of Southeastern societies during the late prehistoric and early historic periods while effectively detailing the many factors that have shaped biocultural evolution.

Contributors include: Patricia S. Bridges, Elizabeth Monaham Driscoll, Debra L. Gold, Dale L. Hutchinson, Keith P. Jacobi, Patricia M. Lambert, Clark Spencer Larsen, Lynette Norr, Mary Lucas Powell, Marianne Reeves, Lisa Sattenspiel, Margaret J. Schoeninger, Mark R. Schurr, Leslie E. Sering, David S. Weaver, and Matthew A. Williamson

A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation Cover

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A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation

Nancy Easterlin

Combining cognitive and evolutionary research with traditional humanist methods, Nancy Easterlin here demonstrates how a biocultural perspective in theory and criticism opens up new possibilities for literary interpretation. Easterlin maintains that the goal of literary interpretation is still of central intellectual and social value. Taking an open yet judicious approach, she argues, however, that literary interpretation stands to gain dramatically from a fair-minded and creative application of cognitive and evolutionary research. This work does just that, expounding a biocultural method that charts a middle course between overly reductive approaches to literature and traditionalists who see the sciences as a threat to the humanities. Easterlin applies her biocultural method to four major subfields within literary studies: new historicism, ecocriticism, cognitive approaches, and evolutionary approaches. After a thorough review of each subfield, she reconsiders it in light of relevant research in cognitive and evolutionary psychology and provides a textual analysis of literary works from the romantic era to the present, including William Wordsworth’s “Simon Lee” and the Lucy poems, Mary Robinson’s “Old Barnard,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Dejection: An Ode,” D. H. Lawrence’s The Fox, Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, and Raymond Carver’s “I Could See the Smallest Things.” A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation offers a fresh and reasoned approach to literary studies that at once preserves the central importance that interpretation plays in the humanities and embraces the exciting developments of the cognitive sciences.

Bioethics and Organ Transplantation in a Muslim Society Cover

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Bioethics and Organ Transplantation in a Muslim Society

A Study in Culture, Ethnography, and Religion

Farhat Moazam

"Dr. Farhat Moazam has written a wonderful book, based on her extraordinary first-hand study.... [S]he is an exceptionally gifted and evocative writer. Her book not only has the attributes of a superb piece of intellectual work, but it has literary artistic merit." -- Renee C. Fox, Annenberg Professor Emerita of the Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania

This is an ethnographic study of live, related kidney donation in Pakistan, based on Farhat Moazam's participant-observer research conducted at a public hospital. Her narrative is both a "thick" description of renal transplant cases and the cultural, ethical, and family conflicts that accompany them, and an object lesson in comparative bioethics.

Bioethics in a Liberal Society Cover

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Bioethics in a Liberal Society

The Political Framework of Bioethics Decision Making

Thomas May

Issues concerning patients' rights are at the center of bioethics, but the political basis for these rights has rarely been examined. In Bioethics in a Liberal Society: The Political Framework of Bioethics Decision Making, Thomas May offers a compelling analysis of how the political context of liberal constitutional democracy shapes the rights and obligations of both patients and health care professionals. May focuses on how a key feature of liberal society—namely, an individual's right to make independent decisions—has an impact on the most important relational facets of health care, such as patients' autonomy and professionals' rights of conscience. Although a liberal political framework protects individual judgments, May asserts that this right is based on the assumption of an individual's competency to make sound decisions. May uses case studies to examine society's approach to medical decision making when, for reasons ranging from age to severe mental disorder, a person lacks sufficient competency to make independent and fully informed choices. To protect the autonomy of these vulnerable patients, May emphasizes the need for health care ethics committees and ethics consultants to help guide the decision-making process in clinical settings. Bioethics in a Liberal Society is essential reading for all those interested in understanding how bioethics is practiced within our society.

Bioethics In Social Context Cover

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Bioethics In Social Context

The problems of bioethics are embedded in people's lives and social worlds. They are shaped by individual biographies and relationships, by the ethos and institutions of health care, by economic and political pressures, by media depictions, and by the assumptions, beliefs, and values that permeate cultures and times. Yet these forces are largely ignored by a professional bioethics that concentrates on the theoretical justification of decisions.

The original essays in this volume use qualitative research methods to expose the multiple contexts within which the problems of bioethics arise, are defined and debated, and ultimately resolved. In a provocative concluding essay, one contributor asks his fellow ethnographers to reflect on the ethical problems of ethnography.

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