This study of disease in past and present human populations provides insight into the relationships between people and their environments. Changing disease patterns reflect the net effect of many factors - biological, ecological and social. In this book, three contributors discuss the subject from different viewpoints. Dr C.G.N. Mascie-Tayor sets out to answer the question "what causes disease?", and considers the influence of biocultural factors on disease patterns and the biological impact of disease on human populations now and in the past. Dr G. Lewis views disease from the viewpoint of social and medical anthropology, and considers the question "how do different societies perceive disease?". He discusses the social causes of disease and cultural responses to disease. Professor S.J. Kunitz uses modern and historical data from Polynesia to make comparisons between the different patterns of disease in developing countries. C.G.N. Mascie-Taylor has also written "Biosocial Aspects of Social Class".
'his contributon is effective in providing an overview of different factors in the study of disease, which he supports with examples from case material from a range of different cultures and historical periods'
Justin Greene-Roesel, University of Cambridge
`This is a superb little gem of a book'
Horacio Fabrega Jr. Transcultural Psychiatric Rsearch Review 32 (2), Oct '95
1: G.N. Mascie-Taylor: The anthropology of disease
2: G. Lewis: Some studies of social causes of cultural response to disease
3: S.J. Kunitz: Historical and contemporary mortality patterns in Polynesia