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Epidemiology and Culture


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The origins of an integrated approach in anthropology and epidemiology; 3. Disease patterns and assumptions: unpacking variables; 4. Cultural issues in measurement and bias; 5. Anthropological contributions to the study of cholera; 6. Anthropological and epidemiological collaboration to help communities become healthier; 7. Perceiving and representing risk; 8. Conclusion.

Promotional Information

This book reveals unexamined assumptions and shows how sociocultural context influences measurement of disease.

About the Author

James A. Trostle is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Urban Initiatives at Trinity College, Hartford. He has worked in more than 35 countries during his career in international health, and has been invited to lecture in several others. He has co-authored, in Spanish, De la Investigacion en Salud a la Politica: La Dificil Traduccion (From Health Research to Policy: The Difficult Translation). He has published in Health, Policy and Planning; Neurology; The Annual Review of Anthropology; Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry; Medical Anthropology Quarterly; and most frequently in Social Science & Medicine. Professor Trostle has been a Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organization, and presently sits on a WHO Task Force on Research to Policy as well as on the WHO Human Reproduction Programme Regional Advisory Panel for the Americas.


'The strength of this book lies in its broad scope that covers history, methods, case studies, and current issues. Each chapter has a further reading list and importantly, Trostle provides comprehensive references which include some of the most seminal research studies in the fields of social medicine, social epidemioloy, and medical anthropology ... Trostle's book is the first that I am aware of that provides such a broad and accessible review of the history and current state of the field of culture/medical anthropology.' Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy
"To produce his highly readable text, the author brings to bear a doctoral education and experience in anthropology together with respectable background in epidemiology. The text is, in essence, an address to epidemiologists about the notion of culture by a knowledgeable anthropologist. He uses his thorough grounding in anthropology to sharpen the insights and sensitivities of epidemiologists. I was happy to find the work a pleasure to read." Mervyn Susser, Sergievsky Professor of Epidemiology Emeritus, Columbia University
"This well-written book provides an excellent discussion of how culture influences epidemiologic research. It is an important book for anyone working in epidemiology of human health or interested in the sociocultural influences on the measurement of disease. This is the most comprehensive book on the subject, and it challenges our current views of epidemiologic studies and interventions. I would highly recommend it as a valuable resource for epidemiology researchers, clinical investigators, and students, to add a new way of thinking to their ongoing research." Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
"By incorporating a wide array of examples and contextualizing his analysis in a political-economic framework, Trostle develops a theoretically rich portrayal of cultural epidemiology that has clear practical applications for epidemiologists and clinicians alike." Hannah Gilbert, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
"This well-written book provides an excellent discussion of how culture influences epidemiologic research. It is an important book for anyone working in epidemiology of human health or interested in the sociocultural influences on the measurement of disease." Martha Gulati, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Epidemiology and Culture
"This book is an ambitious and clearly needed effort at this time in the two sciences: epidemiology and anthropology." Marianne Berwick, University of New Mexico, Journal of Anthropological Research

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