Navigation überspringen.

South Asian History and Culture 2010 - Vol. 1,2

South Asian History and Culture
South Asian History and Culture / Editorial Board: David Washbrook [u.a.]. - Vol. 1. - London [u.a.] : Routledge, 2010
ISSN 1947-2501 (electronic), 1947-2498 (paper)
URL: Taylor and Francis: South Asian History and Culture
Der Teilband 1,2 ist auch gesondert als Buch erhältlich: Health, Culture and Religion in South Asia : Critical Perspectives / ed. by Assa Doron ; Alex Broom. - London [u.a.] : Routledge, 2010. - (Routledge South Asian History and Culture Series). - ISBN 978-0-415-55609-5. - £80.00 (siehe Routledge)

Inhalt: Vol. 1,2 (April 2010)
Assa Doron; Alex Broom:
Health and healing in South Asia, S. 193-198
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003590577
Kalpana Ram:
Class and the clinic: the subject of medical pluralism and the transmission of inequality, S. 199-212
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003590676
Abstract: This article, based on ethnographic work in rural Tamil Nadu, explores the relative invisibility of class and its characteristic modes of operation in the literature on medical pluralism in India. Using, as key concepts, habit, comfort, pre-familiarity and familiarization, the article suggests that we can shift the way we think of 'pragmatism', the term that is routinely used to describe subjects who follow pluralist strategies. In reconceptualizing pragmatism, we can allow ourselves to glimpse anew the workings of class within pluralist strategies. The article takes inspiration from Gramsci's critique of the self-evidence of 'common sense', as well as from the phenomenological aspects of Bourdieu's understanding of class and habitus. It explores the very different levels of comfort and authorization that different classes display in relation to biomedical spaces and practices, as well as towards non-biomedical discursive practices.

Victoria Loblay:
Spatial boundaries and moralities of gender: considerations from obstetric and gynaecological practice in Chennai, South India, S. 213-223
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003590742
Abstract: This article explores the intersection of medical practice and moralities of gender in the context of obstetrics and gynaecology clinics in Chennai, South India. The focus of the article grows out of an attempt to better understand the moral values that underpin obstetric and gynaecological (O&G) practice in relation to female sexuality. Its key concern is the cultural construction of ideal femininity and the way gendered boundaries are put in place to neutralize the sexual potential of the medical encounter and to protect values around virginity. To deconstruct the ways in which O&G practice works to reinforce these norms, it analyses the configuration of spatial arrangements in the clinics, as well as the discursive strategies employed by medical staff and patients. It also examines how the arrangement of space and speech in the context of the clinic reflect the moral codes that govern female sexuality in South Indian culture more generally. Finally, it shows the depth to which everyday moralities of gender operate in the clinic and how medical practice serves to maintain the boundaries that shape the expectations surrounding femininity and sexuality.

Jamie Cross:
Occupational health, risk and science in India's global factories, S. 224-238
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003592912
Abstract: This article explores the relationship between health, culture and society in contemporary India by examining how occupational health risks are constructed and circulate at new sites of industrial production. This article argues that these sites of global industry can offer an important contribution to debates about the political economy of science, biomedicine and public health by revealing notions of risk that are neither scientific nor public but variously and simultaneously empirical, calculating, affective, relational and structural. On the basis of ethnographic fieldwork in a large-scale diamond manufacturing unit in a special economic zone in Andhra Pradesh, I show how biomedical and scientific knowledge, technocratic codes of conduct, the forces of global competition, craft knowledge and the lived experience of labour under conditions of economic insecurity all figure in an understanding and evaluation of risk.

Michelle Kermode; Peter Deutschmann; M. C. Arunkumar; Greg Manning:
Injecting drug use and HIV in northeast India: negotiating a public health response in a complex environment, S. 239-249
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003592953
Abstract: The northeast Indian states of Manipur and Nagaland are characterized by longstanding and sometimes violent civil insurgence, tribalism and religious conservatism. A number of conflicts are being played out in these two states between insurgent groups and the Indian military, rival insurgent groups and different tribal groups. This has a profound effect on the daily lives of individuals and communities, and development within the region. The problem of injecting drug use is substantial, with approximately 2% of the population injecting drugs, both heroin and pharmaceutical agents. Consequently, Manipur and Nagaland are the two highest HIV-prevalence states in India. Acknowledgement of injecting drug use and HIV as issues worthy of attention and the development of an effective response to them have been complicated by deeply felt social conservatism. The emergence of an effective public health response for HIV prevention in this complex setting will be described and discussed.

Nalin Mehta; Upahar Pramanik:
HIV and the gurus: religiosity, plurality and the challenge of a 'Hindu' response, S. 250-267
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003592961
Abstract: The response to HIV is more dependent on the support of social leaders than most other diseases. Over the past decade, involving faith-based leaders in prevention programmes has become a cornerstone of the response in many regions, particularly in Africa. Until now, this has largely involved the mobilization of Christian faith-based leaders or the Muslim ulema in the case of Uganda. Hindu-faith-based leaders have never been mobilized in any organized form until recently. This is partly due to the immense plurality of Hindu sects which mitigates against any kind of unilinear organization and partly due to denial by leading Hindu figures. The recent formation of the Hindu Leaders' Caucus on HIV and AIDS is a novel development and more so is the commitment by more than 50 prominent Hindu religious leaders to incorporate HIV messages into their religious discourses. This article examines the complexity of putting together such a coalition, the challenges in sustaining it and the issues raised by many Hindu-faith-based leaders with respect to HIV which shed light on deeper narratives of health, society and well-being within Hinduism.

Kabita Chakraborty:
Unmarried Muslim youth and sex education in the bustees of Kolkata, S. 268-281
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003593001
Abstract: This article explores the way sex education for unmarried youth is understood at the national and local levels in India. It begins by describing the dominant political debates regarding the teaching of sex education in central government schools. These discussions are not gender neutral, and reveal some political dissatisfaction with India's participation in a globalizing world. Young people's access to formal sex education in the bustees (urban slums) of Kolkata is related to the construction of hegemonic Muslim femininities and masculinities. The article examines young people's experience with informal sex educators, and reveals that although informal sources are not adequate, young people are ambivalent about learning sex education in a formal context.

Assa Doron:
The intoxicated poor: alcohol, morality and power among the boatmen of Banaras, S. 282-300
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003593035
Abstract: Anthropological research on alcohol use and misuse has largely focused on the symbolic meaning of alcohol in ritual settings and its role in the everyday lives of indigenous populations. Much has been written on the role of alcohol as a social lubricant, a vehicle for anxiety relief, a marker of ethnic identity and social status and, in some cases, a part of everyday resistance practices deployed by subordinated populations. Less attention has been given to how the excessive consumption of alcohol is perceived amongst the people themselves, and their own ways of trying to make sense of alcohol-related problems within a rapidly changing social and economic environment. This article considers these issues by looking at a particular group of low-caste/class boatmen in the city of Banaras, and how they articulate alcohol use and abuse. It suggests that perceptions, consumption and broader cultural classification of alcohol can only be appreciated by considering how specific community structures, conflicts and everyday practice are interlaced with culturally constituted notions of power and danger in Hindu society.

Sumant Badami:
Between medicine and manthravady: agency and identity in Paniya health, S. 301-314
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003593043
Abstract: The Paniya tribe of Wayanad, Kerala, suffer from a range of health issues related to their experience of marginality. They have indigenous forms of healing; however, the use of biomedicine has increased. But, lack of time and resources means that the broader dimensions of health and well-being remain unaddressed. The socio-economic causes of illness are reconfigured into medical terms for management in the clinical setting. Ultimately, the struggles of the marginalized are rendered invisible, and primary medical aid has become a conduit through which ideology and modes of practice are transferred. However, the Paniya use biomedicine in an attempt to negotiate new forms of identity. Symbolic parallels between the 'rituals' of medicine and manthravady (black magic) facilitate movement between the two. However, specific practices within the manthravady ritual draw on deeply embedded cultural idioms that caution against the coercive influences of dominant groups and help the Paniya make sense of their place in the contemporary world.

Maya Unnithan:
Learning from infertility: gender, health inequities and faith healers in women's experiences of disrupted reproduction in Rajasthan, S. 315-327
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003593068
Abstract: Infertility is a neglected area of public health in India despite the significant implications it has for the health of poor women. It is also less prominent in social science research due to its characterization as a biomedical problem. On the contrary, as suggested in this article, a focus on infertility provides important insights into the gendering of reproductive identity and the ways in which power is exercised by the family, religion, state and health personnel. Building upon recent studies of infertility as 'lived experience' elsewhere in the world, the article demonstrates that emic and situated meanings of gender, body and self as become apparent in local discourse on infertility in India are important for social theory as well as health policy. Focusing on individual agency and the social meaning of infertility the article critically evaluates the therapeutic intervention of faith healers to suggest ways in which local healers enable women to distance themselves from gender inequities in reproduction at the same time as they reaffirm them.

Asha Lal Tamang; Alex Broom:
The practice and meanings of spiritual healing in Nepal, S. 328-340
DOI: 10.1080/19472491003593084
Abstract: Most of the Nepalese population use various forms of traditional medicine (TM) as their primary form of health care. Biomedical health-care services are currently extremely limited and are largely situated in urban settings. Despite widespread reliance on TM in contemporary Nepal, we know relatively little about the roles and uses of traditional medicine and the sociocultural impacts of a diverse therapeutic landscape. Drawing on a series of in-depth interviews with eight Nepalese spiritual healers, this article explores the character of spiritual healing; processes of training and knowledge transfer and the interplay of biomedicine and spiritual healing. The results illustrate the importance of metaphysical referencing and the master-disciple tradition in securing the socio-medical authority of spiritual healers and the protection of 'the art' of healing. Furthermore, their accounts reflect the impact of recent biomedically driven development programmes on the contemporary practice of spiritual healing in Nepal. We use this data to argue for further research to examine interplay of different forms of TM and biomedicine in Nepal, and to illustrate the importance of such an understanding for health development projects in the region.