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Open Anthropology – The Social Life of Health, Illness, Medicine and Health Care: Anthropological Views

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Open Anthropology, a digital-only, public publication of the American Anthropological Association, is proud to announce the release of its third issue. In this edition, The Social Life of Health, Illness, Medicine and Health Care: Anthropological Views, editor Alisse Waterston (John Jay College, CUNY) curates eleven articles and three book reviews of anthropological works that encompass today’s health care debate, access to insurance and quality health care, social inequity, and historical perspectives on medicinal practices and well-being across cultures.

In her prefatory remarks, Waterston reflects on the national health care conversation, noting that “(t)he whole mess – the fights, the threats, the web crashes – was successful in capturing the public’s attention,” and is left to wonder if the cacophony served to distract the public from the key issues around access to health care. Editor Waterston offers a selection of anthropology articles that “help defamiliarize the ‘normal,’ that make strange the familiar, a process that can lead to new insights, understandings, and positions.”

At a time when the issues of health care and insurance are on the national agenda, Open Anthropology provides cross-cultural information and historical perspective to inform national and global health care policy and practice. Anthropologists recognize that when it comes to health care, “We are all in the same frail boat,” as Gerald D. Berreman notes in his article featured here. Others document obstacles to health and well-being as well as success stories in the effort to provide quality health care to all.

Content in Open Anthropology is culled from the full archive of AAA publications, curated into issues, and will be freely available on the internet for a minimum of six months, permitting users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles. Each issue is dedicated to topics of interest to the general public, and that may have direct or indirect public policy implications.

Open Anthropology is available at http://www.aaaopenanthro.org

Aging and Eldercare: November AN Commentaries Now Online

November 2009 Anthropology News CoverNovember Anthropology News In Focus commentaries on aging and eldercare are now available on our Current Featured News page, free to the public through November 30. To access full November issue content—free for AAA members—visit AnthroSource.

The Aging and the Life Course series includes:

  • Jay Sokolovsky: “Aging, Center State: New Life Course Research in Anthropology
  • Philip B Stafford: “Aging and Developmental Disability: Emerging Concerns and Insights”
  • Cormac Sheehan, Cathy Bailey and Susan Squires: “Older Adults Speak Out: Aging and Health Policy in the Republic of Ireland”
  • David Prendergast, John Sherry, Simon Roberts and Tim Plowman: “Technology and Independent Living: The Global Aging Experience Project” Continue reading
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