Mark Nichter and Global Health

Mark Nichter is a prominent medical anthropologist who teaches at the University of Arizona. In this video Nichter speaks on medical anthropology and health policy. We also get more background on Nichter and his work from colleagues and students.

I am using Mark’s new textbook, Global Health: Why Cultural Perceptions, Social Representations, and Biopolitics Matter, in my Intro to Med Anth class this semester, and the students have responded quite positively. It’s a relatively short book, so I am able to use it in conjunction with other texts – not the mega intro to all things med anthro that seems to be the norm out there now. I also like the practical/applied focus that he provides throughout the book.

The last chapter, “Toward a Next Generation of Social Science Research,” is the real pay-off after previous sections on both popular health culture and international health policy. That’s where he discusses global health, syndemics, ecosocial epidemiology, local biology, the importance of studying up, biopolitics, and more. Yes, he packs a lot in – but that leaves room for me as the teacher to discuss more general issues and to provide background for the points he is making.

Mark has several recent articles which will likely interest readers:

Coming to Our Senses: Appreciating the Sensorial in Medical Anthropology (2008) in Transcultural Psychiatry

Reconsidering the Placebo Response from a Broad Anthropological Perspective (2009) in Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry with Jennifer Jo Thompson and Cheryl Ritenbaugh

Qualitative Research: Contributions to the Study of Drug Use, Drug Abuse, and Drug Use(r)-Related Interventions (2004) in Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry with Gilbert Quintero, Mimi Nichter, Jeremiah Mock and Sohaila Shakib

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