The Impact of Critical Medical Anthropology Studies

As Morsy (1996) observes, a review of the CMA literature shows that this genre of medical anthropology spans a range of both substantive and analytical concerns. Critical medical anthropologists have worked on a growing number of health-related issues and health conditions, including mental health, illicit substance abuse, smoking, AIDS, homelessness, reproduction, folk healing, infant care and mortality, diabetes, medical pluralism, immunology, nutrition, health policy, health care disparities, the pharmaceutical industry, rural health services, doctor-patient relationships, the role of the state in primary health care, and medical hegemony. As this (quite partial) list suggests, CMA theory has fostered numerous research and explanatory efforts and proven to be particularly fertile ground for the development of new explanatory concepts and new research questions. Consequently, the CMA perspective has not only strongly influenced the work of many medical anthropologists who define themselves as working in a critical vein, but its emphasis on the fundamental importance of considering political economic factors in health has influenced the work of many medical anthropologists identified with an alternative explanatory framework. In fostering debate among the various perspectives in medical anthropology,

CMA also has contributed to a greater focus on theory in what, as noted, has tended to be a highly applied subdiscipline.

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