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HIV/AIDS and Traditional Healers
As subSaharan Africa continues to confront the runaway epidemic of HIV/AIDS, traditional healers have been tapped as collaborators in prevention and education efforts. The terms of this collaboration, however, are far from settled and continually contested. As Modernizing Medicine in Zimbabwe demonstrates, serious questions continue to linger in the medical community since the explosion of the disease nearly thirty years ago. Are healers obstacles to health development? Do their explanations for the disease disregard biomedical science? Can the worlds of traditional healing and modern medicine coexist and cooperate?
Combining anthropological, historical, and public health perspectives, Modernizing Medicine in Zimbabwe explores the intersection of African healing traditions and Western health development, emphasizing the role of this historical relationship in current debates about HIV/AIDS. Drawing on diverse sources including colonial records, missionary correspondence, international health policy reports, and interviews with traditional healers, anthropologist David S. Simmons demonstrates the remarkable adaptive qualities of these disparate communities as they try to meet the urgent needs of the people.
Reflections on an Aging Parent
Named a Best Book of 2008 by Library Journal
In a series of moving vignettes, the author begins by describing a particular representation of Water-Moon Kuan Yin, a Buddhist teacher and goddess associated with compassion, who often sits on a precarious overhang or floats on a flimsy petal. Then Kuan Yin steps out of the frame to join the author in the mundane challenges of caring for her father-transferring his health insurance, struggling with a wheelchair van, managing adult diapers, or playing in the fictions of dementia. From perplexed to poignant to funny, the vignettes record the working-class English of a fading but still wise dad, and they find other human versions of Kuan Yin in a doctor who will still make house calls or kind strangers in the street.
The book includes ten illustrations: both classical representations of Kuan Yin and also the author's own drawings, which adapt Kuan Yin in an act of practical spirituality, reading art through life and life through art. Each vignette invites the harried caregiver to take a deep breath and meditate on the trials and joys of caring for an aging parent.
Local, Translocal, and Virtual
While more than 80 percent of the world’s commercial music is controlled by four multinational firms, most music is made and enjoyed in diverse situations divorced from such corporate behemoths. These fourteen original essays examine the fascinating world of “music scenes,” those largely inconspicuous sites where clusters of musicians, producers, and fans explore their common musical tastes and distinctive lifestyle choices. Although most music scenes come and go with hardly a trace, they nevertheless give immense satisfaction to their participants, and a few—New York bop jazz, Merseybeat, Memphis rockabilly, London punk, Bronx hip-hop—achieve fame and spur musical innovations. To date, serious study of the scenes phenomenon has focused mainly on specific music scenes while paying less attention to recurrent dynamics of scene life, such as how individuals construct and negotiate scenes to the various activities. This volume remedies that neglect. The editors distinguish between three types of scenes—local, translocal, and virtual—which provide the organizing framework for the essays. Aspects of local scenes, which are confined to specific areas, are explored through essays on Chicago blues, rave, karaoke, teen pop, and salsa. The section on translocal scenes, which involve the coming together of scattered local scenes around a particular type of music and lifestyle, includes articles on Riot Grrrls, goths, art music, and anarcho-punk. Aspects of virtual scenes, in which fans communicate via the internet, are illustrated using alternative country, the Canterbury sound, post-rock, and Kate Bush fans. Also included is an essay that shows how the social conditions in places where jazz was made influenced that music’s development.
This volume, which includes essays on Catalonia, the Basque country, Galicia, and literature written by African immigrants, focuses on issues of "difference" that are at the center of current debates in Spain and elsewhere--the emergence of minoritized literatures, multilingualism and identity, new relationships between culture and institutions, the negotiation of historical memories, the connections between migrations and the redefinition of nationhood, and the impact of global trends on local symbolic systems.
Is Public Assistance the Problem?
Obesity costs our society billions of dollars a year in lost productivity and medical expenses, roughly half of which the federal government pays through Medicare and Medicaid. We know obesity plagues the poor more than the non-poor and poor women more than poor men. Poor women make up the majority of adult welfare recipients—coincidence or causal connection? This book investigates the controversial claim by welfare critics that public assistance programs like Food Stamps and the National School Lunch programs contribute to obesity among the poor. The author synthesizes empirical evidence from an array of disciplines—anthropology, economics, epidemiology, medicine, nutrition science, marketing, psychology, public health, sociology, and urban planning--to test this claim and to test whether other causal processes are at work. With a lucid presentation that makes it a model for applying research to questions of social policy, the book lays out the different hypotheses and the possible causal pathways within each. The four central chapters test whether “public assistance causes obesity,” “obesity causes public assistance,” “poverty causes both public assistance and obesity,” and “Factor X causes both.” The factors in the last category that may relate to both public assistance and obesity include stress, disability, and physical abuse.
The Promise of Transformative Nursing Homes
On investigative visits to nursing homes across the nation, Beth Baker has witnessed profound changes. Culture change leaders are tearing up everything -- the floor plans, the flow charts, the schedules, the lousy menus, the attitudes, the rules -- and starting from scratch. They are creating extraordinary places where people live in dignity and greet the day with contentment, assisted by employees who feel valued and appreciated. Perhaps most surprising, these homes prove that a high quality of life does not have to cost more. Some of the best homes in the nation serve primarily low-income people who are on Medicaid. In this new book, Baker tell the story of a better way to live in old age. Although each home is different, they share common values: respecting individual choices; empowering staff; fostering a strong community of elders, staff, family members, and volunteers; redesigning buildings from a hospital model to a home (where pets and children are part of everyday life); and honoring people when they die. Her visits to more than two dozen facilities include those associatd with the Eden Alternative, Green House, Kendal, and the Pioneer Network. Whether these transformational homes become the norm or the domain of a lucky few is the question that faces the next generation of elders, the baby boomers.
Peer Programs for People with Mental Illness
“Truly a remarkable book. Not only does it contain a brief history and philosophy of consumer-operated programs in the mental health field but also hands-on examples of eight case studies from across the country as well as glossaries, contact lists and directories. Embedded within these programs are essential ingredients of empowerment, choice, respect for diversity, creativity, humor, and advocacy. Such components are critical for humans to reclaim their lives after serious and persisting challenges such as mental illnesses. This book illustrates the wide variety of ways people can help themselves by helping others.” --Courtenay M. Harding, Senior Director, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University On Our Own, Together looks in depth at eight successful peer-run programs for adults with serious mental illnesses. The book grew out of a 1998 meeting that led off a nationwide study to assess not only the effectiveness of consumer-operated services programs (COSPs) but also their implications for the future of mental health care in the United States. The book clusters the COSPs into three key types: drop-in centers, which provide varied services for their members, including meals, housing assistance, and stigma-free environments; educational programs, which train mental health consumers in recovery skills for themselves and for other consumers; and services based on peer support and mentoring. Despite their differences, the book shows, the programs share many essential characteristics. Most significantly, they demonstrate the benefits of allowing mental health consumers to operate and govern their own organizations. Also important is their emphasis on equality, mutuality, empowerment, recovery, belonging, and hope in administering services. Such core values, the book suggests, distinguish peer-run programs from the professional services that have long dominated the mental health system. In contrast to the dry, clinical reports that make up much of the current literature, this book is written "from the inside out" and, for the most part, by the people who developed the programs and who live them every day. It reveals peer-run programs as valuable resources within the mental health system and, indeed, a precious necessity for many consumers.
Education and Women's Empowerment in Honduras
Juanita was seventeen years old and pregnant with her first child when she began an activity that would "open" her mind. Living in a remote Garifuna village in Honduras, Juanita had dropped out of school after the sixth grade. In 1996, a new educational program, Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial (Tutorial Learning System or SAT), was started in her community. The program helped her see the world differently and open a small business.
Empowering women through education has become a top priority of international development efforts. Erin MurphyGraham draws on more than a decade of qualitative research to examine the experiences of Juanita and eighteen other women who participated in the SAT program. Their narratives suggest the simple yet subtle ways education can spark the empowerment process, as well as the role of men and boys in promoting gender equality.
Drawing on indepth interviews and classroom observation in Honduras and Uganda, MurphyGraham shows the potential of the SAT program to empower women through expanded access and improved quality of secondary education in Latin America and Africa. An appendix provides samples of the classroom lessons.
Magical Realism and the Remystification of Narrative
Ordinary Enchantments investigates magical realism as the most important trend in contemporary international fiction, defines its characteristics and narrative techniques, and proposes a new theory to explain its significance. In the most comprehensive critical treatment of this literary mode to date, Wendy B. Faris discusses a rich array of examples from magical realist novels around the world, including the work not only of Latin American writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but also of authors like Salman Rushdie, Gunter Grass, Toni Morrison, and Ben Okri. Faris argues that by combining realistic representation with fantastic elements so that the marvelous seems to grow organically out of the ordinary, magical realism destabilizes the dominant form of realism based on empirical definitions of reality, gives it visionary power, and thus constitutes what might be called a "remystification" of narrative in the West. Noting the radical narrative heterogeneity of magical realism, the author compares its cultural role to that of traditional shamanic performance, which joins the worlds of daily life and that of the spirits. Because of that capacity to bridge different worlds, magical realism has served as an effective decolonizing agent, providing the ground for marginal voices, submerged traditions, and emergent literatures to develop and create masterpieces. At the same time, this process is not limited to postcolonial situations but constitutes a global trend that replenishes realism from within. In addition to describing what many consider to be the progressive cultural work of magical realism, Faris also confronts the recent accusation that magical realism and its study as a global phenomenon can be seen as a form of commodification and an imposition of cultural homogeneity. And finally, drawing on the narrative innovations and cultural scenarios that magical realism enacts, she extends those principles toward issues of gender and the possibility of a female element within magical realism.
Balancing Family Work with an Academic Career
Featuring many personal accounts, the twenty-four essays in this collection explore the challenges and possibilities confronting those, especially women, who combine parenting and academic work. Written by a diverse group of educators who present a real-world variety of situations, the collection also includes ideas for change at the individual, interpersonal, policy, and system levels.