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The Healthy Ancestor Embodied Inequality and the Revitalization of Native Hawai’ian Health (Advances in Critical Medical Anthro), 1st Edition

Native Americans, researchers increasingly worry, are disproportionately victims of epidemics and poor health because they “fail” to seek medical care, are “non-compliant” patients, or “lack immunity” enjoyed by the “mainstream” population. Challenging this dominant approach to indigenous health, Juliet McMullin shows how it masks more fundamental inequalities that become literally embodied in Native Americans, shifting blame from unequal social relations to biology, individual behavior, and cultural or personal deficiencies. Weaving a complex story of Native Hawai’ian health in its historical, political, and cultural context, she shows how traditional practices that integrated relationships of caring for the land, the body, and the ancestors are being revitalized both on the islands and in the indigenous diaspora. For the fields of medical anthropology, public health, nursing, epidemiology, and indigenous studies, McMullin’s important book offers models for more effective and culturally appropriate approaches to building healthy communities.

Review

“Professor McMullin offers a complex and subtle analysis of the intimate relationships among health, cultural identity, and disparities in medical access. Drawing on Native Hawaiian samples in both Hawai‘i and Southern California, she provides unique comparative insights into the health perspectives of Hawaiians on and off the Islands. Tackling the difficult issue of what constitutes health as something that goes beyond the mere absence of disease, she argues for health as a sense of well-being that includes not only people’s physical and mental condition, but also their culture. And with Hawaiians, culture is not merely a set of shared and negotiated patterns of interpretations and meanings; rather, it is grounded in their relationship to malama ‘aina, or the care of the land of Hawai‘i which embodies the people, their culture and their well-being regardless of where they are located.” –Karen L. Ito, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and author of Lady Friends: Hawaiian Ways and the Ties that Define
“The Healthy Ancestor is an exciting new contribution to Pacific studies and critical medical anthropology. This impressively detailed study reveals the vital connections between Hawaiian concepts of ‘health’ and cultural identity. Taking the reader on a journey into Hawaiian history, then to contemporary Hawai’i and the ‘off-island’ population in California, McMullin convincingly demonstrates the political and economic implications of health inequalities and the need to recontextualise concepts of health within cultural knowledge and Hawaiian identity.”<br><br>- Helen Lee, LaTrobe University, Australia, and author of Tongans Overseas: Between Two Shores

From the Inside Flap

Weaving a complex story of Native Hawai’ian health in its historical, political, and cultural context, Juliet McMullin shows how traditional practices that integrated relationships of caring for the land, the body, and the ancestors are being revitalized both on the islands and in the indigenous diaspora. For the fields of medical anthropology, public health, nursing, epidemiology, and indigenous studies, McMullin’s important book offers models for more effective and culturally appropriate approaches to building healthy communities. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

I bought this book because the author is my professor for an intro anthropology course, and she required us to read it. At first I was hating it, but once you get through the painful intro, its an interesting and very enjoyable piece of literature. She went through some extensive research to learn about the Native Hawaiians and it really opened my eyes to the condition that the Hawaiians have faced and all the injustices they still go through. WARNING: it will more than likely make you not want to go to Hawaii if you ever did. It’s just a true account of Hawaiian culture and everything they have been put through.

Product Details :

  • Series: Advances in Critical Medical Anthro (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press; 1 edition (July 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159874500X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598745009
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches

More Details about The Healthy Ancestor: Embodied Inequality and the Revitalization of Native Hawai’ian Health (Advances in Critical Medical Anthro), 1st Edition

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