Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care

Published by: University of California Press


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Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care


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Disease Change and the Role of Medicine

The Navajo Experience

Stephen J. Kunitz

Stephen Kunitz's work raises crucial issues for public policy in the medical field, and will be valuable for social scientists, physicians, and health professionals concerned with the social context of public health and other medical facilities.

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The Making of Rehabilitation

A Political Economy of Medical Specialization, 1890-1980

Glenn Gritzer

Focusing on the history of one medical field—rehabilitation medicine—this book provides the first systematic analysis of the underlying forces that shape medical specialization, challenging traditional explanations of occupational specialization.

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Discourses of Healing in Central and Southern Africa

John M. Janzen

Ngoma, in Bantu, means drum, song, performance, and healing cult or association. A widespread form of ritual healing in Central and Southern Africa, ngoma is fully investigated here for the first time and interpreted in a contemporary context. John Janzen's daring study incorporates drumming and spirit possession into a broader, institutional profile that emphasizes the varieties of knowledge and social forms and also the common elements of "doing ngoma."

Drawing on his recent field research in Kinshasa, Dar-es-Salaam, Mbabane, and Capetown, Janzen reveals how ngoma transcends national and social boundaries. Spoken and sung discourses about affliction, extended counseling, reorientation of the self or household, and the creation of networks that link the afflicted, their kin, and their healers are all central to ngoma—and familiar to Western self-help institutions as well. Students of African healing and also those interested in the comparative and historical study of medicine, religion, and music will find Ngoma a valuable and thought-provoking book.

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Policies, Plans, and People

Foreign Aid and Health Development

Judith Justice

Judith Justice uses an interdisciplinary approach to show how anthropologists and planners can combine their expertise to make health care programs culturally compatible with the populations they serve.

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White Plague, Black Labor

Tuberculosis and the Political Economy of Health and Disease in South Africa

Randall M. Packard

Why does tuberculosis, a disease which is both curable and preventable, continue to produce over 50,000 new cases a year in South Africa, primarily among blacks? In answering this question Randall Packard traces the history of one of the most devastating diseases in twentieth-century Africa, against the background of the changing political and economic forces that have shaped South African society from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. These forces have generated a growing backlog of disease among black workers and their families and at the same time have prevented the development of effective public health measures for controlling it. Packard's rich and nuanced analysis is a significant contribution to the growing body of literature on South Africa's social history as well as to the history of medicine and the political economy of health.


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