Institutionalizing Illness Narratives: Discourses on Fever and Care from Southern India (Hardcover)

Institutionalizing Illness Narratives: Discourses on Fever and Care from Southern India By Mathew George Cover Image
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This book is an ethnographic work that uses a critical medical anthropology approach to examine the concept of fever care in the context of southern India. Through a study of fevers, the study provides a critical overview to medical practice itself, as it is said that the history of fevers is also the history of medicine. This association between fevers and medicine is as relevant today, as this in-depth study of fever care reveals. Acknowledging the central role of health institutions in creating and propagating notions about illness in society, the author examines fever care through a study of hospitals.

The study examines various discourses on fevers prevalent in the southern state of Kerala, which influence policy and programmatic dimensions of the state health services system. Fever care implies those aspects related to provisioning and cost involved among public and private sector hospitals. A second and more important dimension of this book is a critique of the culture of biomedical practice, informed by the social constructivist framework and approaches in the field of science studies. Overall, the book studies the processes by which physical symptoms like fever are treated as epidemics to be controlled, and are therefore brought within a biomedical system, thereby opening up options for commercialization of care.

About the Author

Mathew George, MPH, PhD, is Assistant Professor and Chairperson of the Centre for Public Health, School of Health Systems Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He has training in public health with a doctorate in social medicine and community health from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. His research interest is in the field of sociology of health and illness with special emphasis on the sociology of medical practice and medical knowledge in bio-medicine and also the interaction between multiple systems of medicine. Currently, he is working on the scope of restructuring the Indian health services system from a public health perspective, using a social epidemiological approach.
Product Details
ISBN: 9789811019043
ISBN-10: 9811019045
Publisher: Springer
Publication Date: August 11th, 2016
Pages: 169
Language: English