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One of the most influential and creative scholars in medical anthropology takes stock of his recent intellectual odysseys in this collection of essays. Arthur Kleinman, an anthropologist and psychiatrist who has studied in Taiwan, China, and North America since 1968, draws upon his bicultural, multidisciplinary background to propose alternative strategies for thinking abou One of the most influential and creative scholars in medical anthropology takes stock of his recent intellectual odysseys in this collection of essays. Arthur Kleinman, an anthropologist and psychiatrist who has studied in Taiwan, China, and North America since 1968, draws upon his bicultural, multidisciplinary background to propose alternative strategies for thinking about how, in the postmodern world, the social and medical relate. Writing at the Margin explores the border between medical and social problems, the boundary between health and social change. Kleinman studies the body as the mediator between individual and collective experience, finding that many health problems—for example the trauma of violence or depression in the course of chronic pain—are less individual medical problems than interpersonal experiences of social suffering. He argues for an ethnographic approach to moral practice in medicine, one that embraces the infrapolitical context of illness, the responses to it, the social institutions relating to it, and the way it is configured in medical ethics. Previously published in various journals, these essays have been revised, updated, and brought together with an introduction, an essay on violence and the politics of post-traumatic stress disorder, and a new chapter that examines the contemporary ethnographic literature of medical anthropology.


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One of the most influential and creative scholars in medical anthropology takes stock of his recent intellectual odysseys in this collection of essays. Arthur Kleinman, an anthropologist and psychiatrist who has studied in Taiwan, China, and North America since 1968, draws upon his bicultural, multidisciplinary background to propose alternative strategies for thinking abou One of the most influential and creative scholars in medical anthropology takes stock of his recent intellectual odysseys in this collection of essays. Arthur Kleinman, an anthropologist and psychiatrist who has studied in Taiwan, China, and North America since 1968, draws upon his bicultural, multidisciplinary background to propose alternative strategies for thinking about how, in the postmodern world, the social and medical relate. Writing at the Margin explores the border between medical and social problems, the boundary between health and social change. Kleinman studies the body as the mediator between individual and collective experience, finding that many health problems—for example the trauma of violence or depression in the course of chronic pain—are less individual medical problems than interpersonal experiences of social suffering. He argues for an ethnographic approach to moral practice in medicine, one that embraces the infrapolitical context of illness, the responses to it, the social institutions relating to it, and the way it is configured in medical ethics. Previously published in various journals, these essays have been revised, updated, and brought together with an introduction, an essay on violence and the politics of post-traumatic stress disorder, and a new chapter that examines the contemporary ethnographic literature of medical anthropology.

30 review for Writing at the Margin: Discourse Between Anthropology and Medicine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jetty

    Kleinman es de los investigadores más lúcidos en antropología médica y psiquiatría transcultural. Muy recomendando.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jorge

    Fantastic update of Kleinman's views on medical anthropology. Great to read after "Patients and Healers" Fantastic update of Kleinman's views on medical anthropology. Great to read after "Patients and Healers"

  3. 4 out of 5

    Eric Miller

    This book consists of a slightly hodgepodge yet thought-provoking collection of essays on medical anthropology from a leader of the field. It starts with a fascinating introduction, in which Kleinman discusses his own relationship to medical anthropology, given his personal history and background. The rest of the book is organized into two main sections: "The Culture of Biomedicine" and "Suffering as Social Experience", plus a final chapter in which Kleinman reviews some contemporary medical ant This book consists of a slightly hodgepodge yet thought-provoking collection of essays on medical anthropology from a leader of the field. It starts with a fascinating introduction, in which Kleinman discusses his own relationship to medical anthropology, given his personal history and background. The rest of the book is organized into two main sections: "The Culture of Biomedicine" and "Suffering as Social Experience", plus a final chapter in which Kleinman reviews some contemporary medical anthropology books. Despite the focus on local worlds and lived experience, Kleinman's writing can be fairly dense with theory. He clearly believes that social theory is essential, although not in a one-size-fits-all or causally explanatory way. Overall, the ideas are important, and I definitely came away with things to think about.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather G

    Terrific resource, but definitely not "light reading". This book was extremely useful for exploring some ideas related to my grad program, but I must admit to skipping around a bit and skimming sections since Kleinman's writing can be rather dense. His review of the current status of medical anthropology (final chapter), highlights of ethnographic writings and the bibliography he provided at the end are a goldmine if you're interested in this field. Terrific resource, but definitely not "light reading". This book was extremely useful for exploring some ideas related to my grad program, but I must admit to skipping around a bit and skimming sections since Kleinman's writing can be rather dense. His review of the current status of medical anthropology (final chapter), highlights of ethnographic writings and the bibliography he provided at the end are a goldmine if you're interested in this field.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  6. 5 out of 5

    Em

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robin Gray-Reed

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Clark

  10. 5 out of 5

    Esther

  11. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

  13. 5 out of 5

    YB YUAN

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eugene Dagon

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anne Rosenwald

  16. 5 out of 5

    L&R Hatem

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  19. 4 out of 5

    Renee

  20. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Olander

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Bass

  22. 5 out of 5

    Roberta

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gladys Kaye Reyes

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lv Niño

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vegetarian

  26. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Oconnor

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marnina

  28. 4 out of 5

    LP

  29. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Glickman

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