Culture, Health and Illness
How much do we fully understand the clinical importance of cultural and social factors in illness, health, and the delivery of health care? In what sense can health problems be understood in terms of their cultural and social settings? This is the scope of the relatively young discipline of medical anthropology to which this book gives a comprehensive introduction. The book has wide application and will interest all those thinking of working abroad or going on electives. But it will also be useful for those practising in British cities which have increasingly diverse ethnic structures and where diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS are becoming more prevalent.
The central theme is the concept of culture and how it is difficult to separate any society's healthcare system from other aspects of that society, such as religion, politics, or economics. The classical division of healthcare sectors into popular, folk, and professional is