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Vodou, Illness and Models in Haiti

From Local Meanings to Broader Relations of Domination

Nicolas Vonarx

Anthropological research concerning the relationship between Haitian vodou and illness shows that vodou practitioners' explanatory models of illness contain two levels of causality. One presents the sick as victims of magical-religious procedures and illness as being the result of agents directed at the victims. The meanings for the origins of such illnesses are rooted in Haitian social reality, which Haitians perceive as dangerous and threatening. A certain representation of self and social reality underlies these illness models in vodou and in vodou-inspired Haitian folk knowledge. An anthropological analysis of illness must identify local meanings that may shed light on certain cultural constructions of illness, as can be achieved by examining explanatory models structured around origins, causes, disease agents and other sources of illness found in Haiti. But the analysis must go beyond local meanings and question the representation of self and of social reality that goes along with these models and makes them intelligible for Haitians. In doing so, we note that this representation is the result of a process of subjectivation that is bound up in power relations between Haiti and the West. A cultural approach to explanatory models of illness in vodou is incomplete without a critical anthropological approach that addresses the relations of domination to which Haiti has been subjected. This article draws on these two anthropological perspectives in analysing illness in Haiti. It demonstrates how a meaning-oriented micro-social analysis of illness can be combined with a critical, macro-social approach in medical anthropology.

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Vincent Dela Sala

Among the scenarios raised by a more interdependent and open

global economy is one of competition unleashed not only between

states and firms, but also between national systems of corporate

finance and governance. Less than a decade since the specter of a

competition of capitalism against capitalism, the start of the new

decade has seen a widespread belief that the Anglo-Saxon model of

capitalism, with its emphasis on equity markets and shareholder

rights, is the basis for convergence amongst advanced industrialized

societies. More specifically, many argue that Italy has not

escaped this discussion, and the past year has been one rich in

developments that raise questions about the possible changing

nature of the Italian model of capitalism. It is not unfair to ask

whether Italy is moving towards a convergence with the Anglo-

American model of capitalism. The election of Antonio D’Amato as

the new president of Confindustria might provide some insight into

the extent of change in the Italian model of capitalism.

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Erin Newcomb

BOOK REVIEW Sarah Rothschild. 2013. The Princess Story: Modeling the Feminine in Twentieth-Century American Fiction and Film . New York: Peter Lang. Amy S. Pattee. 2011. Reading the Adolescent Romance: Sweet Valley High and the Popular Young Adult

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Doing global investments the Nordic way

The “business case” for Equinor's support to union work among its employees in Tanzania

Siri Lange

unions, and the government in Norway. The tripartite system is often referred to as the Nordic model, and the defining characteristic of the model is the “influence that the labor movement has on capital and the state” ( Knudsen, Rajak, et al. this

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Joseph J. Long

unidirectional models of research ‘translation’ and generate important insights for day-to-day practice. In this way, academic research and practice-based research can be brought into constructive dialogue. Anthropologists are increasingly finding roles outside

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Ted Nannicelli

perspectives—music theory, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Following a model of naturalized aesthetics proposed by Murray Smith in Film, Art, and the Third Culture (see the book symposium in Projections 12.2), Justus argues for the

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“Avoiding the mistakes of the past”

Tower block failure discourse and economies of risk management in London's Olympic Park

Saffron Woodcraft

urban development in the United Kingdom, in which public-private partnerships combine government land and grants with private investment in residential and commercial assets to underwrite the provision of social housing and public space—a model that

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Inventing Eco-Cycle

A Social Enterprise Approach to Sustainability Education

Sandy Smith-Nonini

a neutral or objective position to evaluate the venture, but no one else involved can offer a history of its origins. I undertook the project in the hopes of establishing a model that could be emulated, and I am too familiar with the fragility of our

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Is There No Honour among the Maltese?

Paradigms of Honour in a Mediterranean Moral Economy

Jean-Paul Baldacchino

attention of their colleagues working in other regions and in other disciplines ( Stewart 1994: 3 ). The original model developed in the sixties ( Peristiany 1966 ) came under heavy criticism by the 1980s ( Herzfeld 1980 , 1999 ; Pina-Cabral 1989 ; SERG

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Hadas Weiss

. Meillassoux wrote primarily about precapitalist agricultural communities, but in sketching on their basis a model of social reproduction that incorporates social investments and powers, and in foregrounding the reproductive orders by which capitalism sustains