This invited comment, from a medical epidemiologist, discusses some of the relevance and the realities of selected anthropological critiques of epidemiology.
Relevance and Realities of Anthropological Critiques of Epidemiology
Ezra J. Barzilay
Spatial Diagrams in Early Epidemiology
Diagrams are found at the heart of the modern history of epidemiology. Epidemiologists used spatial diagrams to visualize concepts of epidemics as arrangements of biological, environmental, historical, as well as social factors and to analyze epidemics as configurations. Often, they provided a representation of the networks of relationships implied by epidemics, rather than to offer conclusions about origin and causation. This article will look at two spatial diagrams of plague across a period in which an epidemiological way of reasoning stood in stark contrast to arguments provided about plague in the rising field of bacteriology and experimental medicine. This historical genealogy of epidemiologists working with diagrams challenges perceptions of epidemic diagrams as mere arguments of causality to emphasize diagrammatic notions of uncertainty, crisis, and invisibility.
On Data-Mining, Crowd-Sourcing and White Noise
The main concern of this article is with the ways in which technologies of data-mining and crowd-sourcing have made it possible for citizens to contribute to the expansion of infectious disease surveillance as both a concrete practice and a compelling fantasy. But I am less interested in participation as such, and more concerned with the epistemological effects that this technological mediation might have for the possibility of epidemic events to become shared objects of knowledge. What happens with epidemic events when they become targets of data-mining and crowd-sourcing technologies?
Andrew M. Courtwright
Philosophical and political discussions of health inequalities have largely focused on questions of justice. The general strategy employed by philosophers like Norman Daniels is to identify a certain state of affairs—in his case, equality of opportunity—and then argue that health disparities limiting an individual's or group's access to that condition are unjust, demanding intervention. Recent work in epidemiology, however, has highlighted the importance of socioeconomic status in creating health inequalities. I explore the ways in which theories of justice have been expanded in light of this data, suggesting that more work is required if such theories are to provide an adequate framework for addressing health disparities. I conclude by sketching an alternative possibility for thinking about health disparities outside of the context of justice.
The Work of Diagrams
Lukas Engelmann, Caroline Humphrey and Christos Lynteris
Philip Steadman’s epilogue suggests that the copying of drawings (and its study) by anthropologists, psychologists, architectural students, and Surrealists is revealing not only of processes of diagrammatization but also of the fact that there is something ‘diagrammatic’ about the way in which designs are represented mentally, which affects how they are seen and altered when they are reproduced. The work of diagrams, not only as visual objects but also as mental processes, is shown by the articles in this special issue to play a central role in fields as diverse as psychoanalysis, anthropology, epidemiology, and biology. More often than not, the synergy between these fields is facilitated, and sometimes catalyzed, by shared diagrammatic practices. As the studies examined in the epilogue demonstrate, diagrams form a privileged visual field of interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange. But importantly, they also facilitate a way of information processing—what the editors of this special issue call ‘diagrammatic reasoning’—through which data are processed, presented, and reconfigured in clear and easily assimilated forms.
Sergio Moldes-Anaya, Francisco Jiménez Aguilar and Francisco Jiménez Bautista
Full article is in Spanish.
English abstract: This article analyses the perceptions of immigration in Spain through the last two rounds of the European Social Survey. A new methodology of combined analysis of the Social Epidemiology of the Conflict and the Transcend method is proposed from conflict research. The objective of this study is to verify the suitability and viability of this approach and to evaluate the evolution of the perception toward immigration in Spain in recent years. As a result, more effective therapeutic measures have been proposed to face their discrimination and social rejection.
Spanish abstract: Este artículo analiza las percepciones hacia la inmigración en España a través de las dos últimas rondas de la Encuesta Social Europea. Partiendo de la investigación en conflictos, se propone una nueva metodología de análisis combinado entre Epidemiología Social del Conflicto y el método Transcend. El objetivo de este estudio será tanto comprobar la adecuación y viabilidad de esta propuesta como evaluar la evolución de la percepción hacia la inmigración en España en los últimos años. Gracias a ello se han planteado una serie de propuestas terapéuticas más eficaces para afrontar su discriminación y rechazo.
French abstract: Cet article analyse les perceptions de l’immigration en Espagne à partir des deux dernières versions de l’Enquête sociale européenne. Il propose une nouvelle méthodologie d’analyse qui combine l’épidémiologie sociale du conflit et la méthode Transcend. Son objectif est de confirmer l’adéquation et la viabilité de cette proposition de recherche pour évaluer l’évolution de la perception de l’immigration en Espagne au cours des dernières années. Cette analyse combinée permet de considérer une série de propositions thérapeutiques plus efficaces pour faire face à la discrimination et au refus de l’immigration.
Participation as the Cornerstone of Appropriate Methodologies
-driven quantitative epistemological approaches, like epidemiology. In the third part, characteristics of appropriate methodologies are elaborated for four distinct categories stakeholders, which act in public space (agora): citizen communities (civitas), government
Framing Sex Differences in Childhood Infectious Disease Mortality
Heather T. Battles
: Australian National University . McMichael , A.J. 1999 . “ Prisoners of the Proximate: Loosening the Constraints on Epidemiology in an Age of Change .” American Journal of Epidemiology 149 , no. 10 : 887 – 897 . Meckel , Richard A . 1990 . Save the
Kosatsky , Klea Katsouyanni , Antonis Analitis , H. R. Anderson , Luigi Bisanti , Daniela D’Ippoliti , and Jana Danova . 2008 . “ Heat Effects on Mortality in 15 European Cities ”. Epidemiology 19 ( 5 ): 711 – 719 . doi:10.1097/EDE
Illness, Invisibility, and Empowerment of Communities Struck by the Fracking Boom
Kristen M. Schorpp
database of relevant research related to natural gas extraction practices, industry more generally, and endocrine disruption. Wylie refers to TEDX’s advocacy-oriented approach as a form of “popular epidemiology” in which communities are given the tools to