This book shows how practitioners in the emerging field of 'cultural epidemiology' describe human health, communicate with diverse audiences, and intervene to improve health and prevent disease. It uses textual and statistical portraits of disease to describe past and present collaborations between anthropology and epidemiology. Interpreting epidemiology as a cultural practice helps to reveal the ways in which measurement, causal thinking, and intervention design are all influenced by belief, habit, and theories of power. By unpacking many common disease risks and epidemiologic categories, this book reveals unexamined assumptions and shows how sociocultural context influences measurement of disease. Examples include studies of epilepsy, cholera, mortality on the Titanic, breastfeeding, and adolescent smoking. The book describes methods as varied as observing individuals, measuring social networks, and compiling data from death certificates. It argues that effective public health interventions must work more often and better at the level of entire communities.
'The strength of this book lies in its broad scope that covers history, methods, case studies, and current issues. Each chapter has a further reading list and importantly, Trostle provides comprehensive references which include some of the most seminal research studies in the fields of social medicine, social epidemioloy, and medical anthropology ... Trostle's book is the first that I am aware of that provides such a broad and accessible review of the history and current state of the field of culture/medical anthropology.' Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy
"To produce his highly readable text, the author brings to bear a doctoral education and experience in anthropology together with respectable background in epidemiology. The text is, in essence, an address to epidemiologists about the notion of culture by a knowledgeable anthropologist. He uses his thorough grounding in anthropology to sharpen the insights and sensitivities of epidemiologists. I was happy to find the work a pleasure to read."
Mervyn Susser, Sergievsky Professor of Epidemiology Emeritus, Columbia University
"This well-written book provides an excellent discussion of how culture influences epidemiologic research. It is an important book for anyone working in epidemiology of human health or interested in the sociocultural influences on the measurement of disease. This is the most comprehensive book on the subject, and it challenges our current views of epidemiologic studies and interventions. I would highly recommend it as a valuable resource for epidemiology researchers, clinical investigators, and students, to add a new way of thinking to their ongoing research."
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
"By incorporating a wide array of examples and contextualizing his analysis in a political-economic framework, Trostle develops a theoretically rich portrayal of cultural epidemiology that has clear practical applications for epidemiologists and clinicians alike."
Hannah Gilbert, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
"This well-written book provides an excellent discussion of how culture influences epidemiologic research. It is an important book for anyone working in epidemiology of human health or interested in the sociocultural influences on the measurement of disease."
Martha Gulati, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Epidemiology and Culture
"This book is an ambitious and clearly needed effort at this time in the two sciences: epidemiology and anthropology."
Marianne Berwick, University of New Mexico, Journal of Anthropological Research
Series: Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 29th October 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.51