Analysis of my ethnographic data on medical popular culture in tribal south-west Iran, mostly from 1965 to 1983, suggests several traditional explanatory models and philosophical tenets that guide approaches to health issues. Empirical knowledge of natural processes motivates people to observe their bodily requirements. The belief in God's autocratic power is tempered with God's purported wish that people use their abilities to take responsibility for their health, complicating the notion of 'fate'. The various models provide health management choices. Traditionally, patients and healers shared these models, acting on the same cosmological assumptions.
Explanatory Models, Philosophies and Behaviour
From Local Meanings to Broader Relations of Domination
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.
How Empathy, the Human Rights Topos and Ideological Attitudes Interact with Aesthetic Perceptions
Gerald A. P.-Fromm and Bariaa Mourad
This article analyses attitudes of the art public related to subjects of the 2011 art exhibition 'Beirut', shown at the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. Some Lebanese artworks, especially those of the (pre-)war generation, were oriented towards utopias of their time and socio-political criticism, and still today revolve around the topoi of human rights. Socio-cultural milieux and institutions seem habited by adherents with congruent values. Art, science and education are thus particularly disputed fields since their common creative quests produce knowledge and, depending on the theme, ideology. We contextualise these topics and highlight a few empirically corroborated explanatory models developed by anthropology in order to elucidate the complex interplay between the individual and society. We appeal to those in academia, education and critical art to play a role in the debate on essential humanistic and ethical principles.
Henglien Lisa Chen and David Orr
live and the camera’s intrusion, with which the film makes viewers complicit, are highly discomfiting and provoke an emotional response from the audience. This documentary is not a traditional anthropological exploration probing explanatory models and
Phenomenology Encounters Cognitivism
grounded in empirical research. In this way, we can do justice to both the experiential and aesthetic richness and complexity of cinema and offer explanatory models that promise to make a modest but important contribution to explaining how these works
Case Studies from West Africa
Emilie Venables and Umberto Pellecchia
dimensions of health and illness, local and global explanatory models, different clinical strategies for protection and care entwine with the fluctuating positioning of communities, states and aid organisations, governance, power relationships, global
Identities in Transformation after World War I
“the Jewish soul,” “the French genius,” or “the English spirit,” for example, were prevalent in both popular discourse and also literary and scientific scholarship as explanatory models of individual human personalities during this period. Importantly
Publications and Films
Kathleen M. Gallagher, Ahmed Kanna, Natalie Nesvaderani, Rana Dajani, Dima Hamadmad, and Ghufran Abudayyeh
-free critical and ethnographic history of modern Iraq written through the lens of its healthcare system. Of the various motivations for writing this book, Dewachi mentions in particular the ‘obliteration of the history’ of Iraq by ‘ill-informed explanatory
Robyn Singleton, Jacqueline Carter, Tatianna Alencar, Alicia Piñeirúa-Menéndez, and Kate Winskell
experiences and on other culturally determined sources of social understanding to create narratives imbued with context, meaning, and values ( Winskell et al. 2011 ). In this way, the narratives provide insights into young people’s explanatory models about and
Wind and Weather in Zulu Zionist Sensorial Experiences
inevitably followed by diseases” (cited in Ranger 1992: 265–266) . This material provides a glimpse of an explanatory model that can account for the shedding of blood in warfare and the ensuing epidemic deprivations that followed in the wake of battle and