Bodies, Politics, and African Healing: The Matter of by Stacey A. Langwick

By Stacey A. Langwick

This sophisticated and strong ethnography examines African therapeutic and its dating to scientific technology. Stacey A. Langwick investigates the practices of healers in Tanzania who confront the main intractable health problems within the zone, together with AIDS and malaria. She unearths how healers generate new remedies and form the our bodies in their sufferers as they tackle devils and parasites, anti-witchcraft medication, and baby immunization. Transcending the dualisms among culture and technological know-how, tradition and nature, trust and information, Langwick tells a brand new tale in regards to the materiality of therapeutic and postcolonial politics. this significant paintings bridges postcolonial idea, technological know-how, public overall healthiness, and anthropology.

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Extra info for Bodies, Politics, and African Healing: The Matter of Maladies in Tanzania

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They challenged such unequal handling of accounts of the development of knowledge and proposed that a commitment to methodological or analytical symmetry would ensure more equal accounts. In chapter 6, I juxtapose the articulation of objects that are central to biomedical preventive care with the articulation of objects that are central to nonbiomedical protective care through a case study of the therapies used to secure the health of one child during the first two years of her life. For Tanzanians—patients, kin, healers, and nurses alike—differences in the objects of therapeutic attention during preventative treatments and protective treatments mark differences in modern and traditional medicine.

The focus of symmetrical studies is necessary during the times when and in spaces where the world is separated and purified into (modernist) units of analysis. 41 Therapeutic objects that are constituted through healers’ attention and treatment, therefore, do not always evade each other as easily as they appear to in chapter 6, and sometimes they conflict with each other. The stakes over “object conflicts” (Hess 2004) often include not only the legitimacy of particular objects of therapeutic care—from biomedical bodies to the medicinal bodily boundaries enacted by healers, from parasites to devils, and viruses to jealousies—but also the forms of expertise and kinds of relations that sustain particular objects of therapeutic care.

On the other side of the river, the mountains of northern Mozambique rise, suddenly defining the horizon. If one walks along the edge of the escarpment for a kilometer or so, the hills of Masasi about seventy kilometers northwest of Newala come into view. These views made Newala a strategic location during the wars, slave raids, and ivory hunting of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The unique location attracted a variety of inhabitants despite the challenges of life on the waterless plateau.

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