An Anthropology of Biomedicine

Margaret Lock, Vinh-Kim Nguyen

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In this fully revised and updated second edition of An Anthropology of Biomedicine, authors Lock and Nguyen introduce biomedicine from an anthropological perspective, exploring the entanglement of material bodies with history, environment, culture, and politics. Drawing on historical and ethnographic work, the book critiques the assumption made by the biological sciences of a universal human body that can be uniformly standardized. It focuses on the ways in which the application of biomedical technologies brings about radical changes to societies at large based on socioeconomic inequalities and ethical disputes, and develops and integrates the theory that the human body in health and illness is not an ontological given but a moveable, malleable entity.
This second edition includes new chapters on: microbiology and the microbiome; global health; and, the self as a socio-technical system. In addition, all chapters have been comprehensively revised to take account of developments from within this fast-paced field, in the intervening years between publications. References and figures have also been updated throughout.
This highly-regarded and award-winning textbook (Winner of the 2010 Prose Award for Archaeology and Anthropology) retains the character and features of the previous edition. Its coverage remains broad, including discussion of: biomedical technologies in practice; anthropologies of medicine; biology and human experiments; infertility and assisted reproduction; genomics, epigenomics, and uncertain futures; and molecularizing racial difference, ensuring it remains the essential text for students of anthropology, medical anthropology as well as public and global health.

Margaret Lock, PhD is Professor Emerita at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Dept. of Social Studies of Medicine and Dept. of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Officier de L'Ordre national du Québec, Officer of the Order of Canada, and an elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Author and/or co-editor of 18 books and over 220 articles, Lock is a medical anthropologist whose work focuses on embodiment, comparative epistemologies of medical knowledge, and the global impact of biomedical technologies.
Vinh-Kim Nguyen, PhD is Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (Switzerland) and at the University of Montreal (Canada) and Chair of Anthropology and Global Health at the Collège d'Études mondiales in Paris. He is a medical anthropologist and practicing physician who practices in infectious diseases and emergency care and has worked on the frontlines of global health efforts particularly in West Africa since 1994.


Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 560
Erscheinungsdatum 23.02.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-119-06913-3
Verlag John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Maße (L/B/H) 25.4/17.7/2.7 cm
Gewicht 918 g
Auflage 2. Auflage


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  • Acknowledgements
    Chapter 1: Biomedical technologies in practice
    Chapter 2: The normal body
    Chapter 3: Anthropologies of medicine
    Second section overview
    Chapter 4: Colonial disease and biological commensurability
    Chapter 5: Grounds for comparison: biology and human experiments
    Chapter 6: The right population
    Third section overview
    Chapter 7: Who owns the body?
    Chapter 8: The social life of human organs
    Chapter 9: Making kinship: infertility and assisted reproduction
    Fourth section overview
    Chapter 10: The sociotechnical self
    Chapter 11: Genes as embodied risk
    Chapter 12: Global health
    Fifth section overview
    Chapter 13: From local to situated biologies
    Chapter 14: Of microbes and humans
    Chapter 15: Genomics, epigenomics, and uncertain futures
    Chapter 16: Molecularizing racial difference