Toward cultural epidemiology : beyond epistemological hegemony

Brough, Mark K. (2013) Toward cultural epidemiology : beyond epistemological hegemony. In When culture impacts health: Global lessons for effective health research. Elsevier, pp. 33-42.

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It is more than 10 years since the anthropologist DiGiacomo (1999) answered the question “Can there be a cultural epidemiology?” with disappointment, concluding ethnographic and epidemiological narratives are divergent not complementary. In the same year, the epidemiologist Krieger (1999, p. 1151) asked related questions about the epistemological foundations of epidemiology: “Epidemiology is–or is not—the basic science of public health. Epidemiology is—or is not—an objective science. Science and advocacy are—or are not—distinct and contrary endeavours.” Again in the same year the Indigenous researcher Smith (1999, p. 1) wrote, “From the vantage point of the colonized, a position from which I write, and choose to privilege, the term ‘research’ is inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonialism.” The act of conceptualizing and practicing cultural epidemiology thus brings with it a series of deep epistemological questions about the nature of knowledge production. The Western academy of health research assumes an intellectual and moral privilege to fill gaps in knowledge aimed at yielding improvements in health status. With such privilege comes responsibility, since the power to conceptualize health problems and their solutions deserves considerable critical, historical, and political reflexivity, particularly at the boundaries between dominant and oppressed cultural spaces...

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ID Code: 55320
Item Type: Book Chapter
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-415921-1.00004-X
ISBN: 978-0-12-415921-1
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > ANTHROPOLOGY (160100) > Social and Cultural Anthropology (160104)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Elsevier
Deposited On: 05 Dec 2012 01:39
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 11:23

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