The anthropological study of impairment-disability is becoming more cross-cultural and is beginning to develop innovative theoretical perspectives. However, the mapping of local meanings of anomalous physical/ behavioral differences in relation to etic distinctions between illness meanings, therapeutic treatments, and pain associations, across different societies' totality of contexts, is virtually non-existent. Additionally, the anthropological study of impairment-disability has not much benefited from the critical work of the last 20 years within anthropology and medical anthropology. In reference to the latter, there has not been much engagement with the critical approaches of medical anthropologists such as Hans Baer, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Margaret Lock, and Paul Farmer (however, see Kasnitz & Shuttleworth, 1999, 2001a, 2001b; Peace, 1997, 2001). While it is never wise to assume asymmetrical power relations and oppression, in the cross-cultural study of impairment-disability, a resistance to ever conceptualizing in these terms prevails.
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