Dmitriy V. Mikhel

Saratov State Technical University

Articles.Theory

The article critically examines the phenomenon of critically applied medical anthropology and the main results of work of the leading representatives of this trend, a professor of the University of California at Berkeley Nancy Scheper-Hughes. It is discussed her new model of medico-anthropological knowledge and suggestions regarding to make anthropology «militant». It is shown that the themes of illness, suffering and violence go through all the work of the American researcher, connected within medical anthropology the critical work of scholar and personal policy of the fighting against violence in all its manifestations. Readers’ attention is focused on the results of its field research on the cultural and socio-economic causes of the epidemic of schizophrenia in rural Ireland, the country’s period of entry into the European market. In addition, it is presented the main results of her investigations of the problem of child mortality in the slums of the north-eastern Brazilian due to centuries of colonialism, wild mores prevailing in the sugar plantations, poverty and dramatic experience of motherhood. Scheper-Hughes’ expeditions in the country of «sad tropics» led her to the discovery of the phenomenon of invisible wars against street homeless kids, typical for Brazil at the period of transition from dictatorship to democracy, and for other transitional societies. In the final part of the article some of the results of her research on the political and economic nature of the global traffic of human organs are highlighted. The researcher has disclosed in this phenomenon the hidden racial, class and ethnic dimension, as well as the general logic of the neo-liberal attitude towards people and their bodies, denying the traditional human morality in favor of free-market rhetoric and autonomy of the individual.

Keywords: critically applied medical anthropology, schizophrenia, suffering, violence, invisible wars against kids, organs traffic

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