Medical Anthropology and the World System
Critical Perspectives, 3rd Edition
by Hans A. Baer, Merrill Singer, and Ida Susser
May 2013, 521pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0255-3
$75, £58, 66€, A103
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Paperback: 978-1-4408-2915-4
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eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0256-0
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Medical anthropology is one of the newest and most dynamic of anthropology’s various sub-disciplines. Critical medical anthropology (CMA), which examines health-related issues in all societies through time and place, and in light of the evolution of social complexity, has evolved into one of the major perspectives through which faculty, researchers, and students study the field. CMA also enables ethnographically informed understandings of local social contexts and identification of the political, economic, and ecological determinants of human health issues.

Now in its third edition, this textbook serves to frame understandings of health, health-related behavior, and health care in light of social and health inequality as well as structural violence. It also examines how the exercise of power in the health arena and in society overall impacts human health and well-being.

Medical Anthropology and the World System: Critical Perspectives, Third Edition includes updated and expanded information on medical anthropology, resulting in an even more comprehensive resource for undergraduate students, graduate students, and researchers worldwide.

As in the previous versions of this text, the authors provide insights from the perspective of critical medical anthropology, a well-established theoretical viewpoint from which faculty, researchers, and students study medical anthropology. It addresses the nature and scope of medical anthropology; the biosocial and political ecological origins of disease, health inequities, and social suffering; and the nature of medical systems in indigenous and pre-capitalist state societies and modern societies. The third edition also includes new material on the relationship between climate change and health. Finally, this textbook explores health praxis and the struggle for a healthy world.

Hans A. Baer, PhD, has been faculty at the University of Melbourne in the Development Studies Program since 2006. Previously he taught for many years in various universities in the United States. In 1988 and 1989, Baer was a Fulbright Scholar at Humboldt University, in what was then the German Democratic Republic; in 2004, he taught at the Australian National University. His published works total 18 books on a wide variety of topics, including Global Warming and the Political Ecology of Health and Global Capitalism and Climate Change: The Need for an Alternative World System. He has conducted research on Mormonism; African American religion; medical pluralism in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia; socio-political life in East Germany before and after unification; and the Australian climate movement. Baer earned his doctorate in anthropology at the University of Utah and has received the Rudolf Virchow Award in Critical Medical Anthropology.

Merrill Singer, PhD, is professor in the departments of Anthropology and Community Medicine, and senior research scientist at Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention at the University of Connecticut. Additionally, he is faculty at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University. A medical anthropologist, his past research and writing have focused on HIV/AIDS in highly vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, illicit drug use and drinking behavior, community and structural violence, health disparities, and the political ecology of health. His current research focuses on the nature and impact of both interacting epidemics and intersecting ecocrises on health. Singer has published over 250 articles and book chapters and has authored or edited 24 books. He is a recipient of the Rudolph Virchow Prize, the George Foster Memorial Award for Practicing Anthropology, the AIDS and Anthropology Paper Prize, the Prize for Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America, and the Solon T. Kimball Award for Public and Applied Anthropology from the American Anthropological Association.

Ida Susser is professor of anthropology at Hunter College, CUNY, and adjunct professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. She is founding president of the Society for the Anthropology of North America, and she served as president of the American Ethnological Society. Susser has been a board member for journals including American Anthropologist and Critique of Anthropology, and been a member of the Women and AIDS Task Force for the United Nations. Susser is a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has held the MacArthur Research and Writing Fellowship. She has authored or edited nine books.
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