"This profoundly revised version of a book that has already become a classic incorporates the most recent developments and challenges in medicine, biology and public health as well as the most salient questions and debates among anthropologists studying these various fields. Addressing issues at the interface between physical life and social life, it brilliantly covers a broad domain from biomedical technologies to global health."
Didier Fassin, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France
"This second edition of An Anthropology of Biomedicine moves at the speed of the global reach of the subject it analyzes: persuasively argued and richly illustrated with ethnographic, historical, sociomedical and legal cases, this book offers the exemplary and synthetic discussion of biomedicine as a sociotechnical system. Lock and Nguyen′s persuasive volume is now thoroughly updated and contains new chapters on microbiology and the microbiome; global health; and, the self as a socio–technical system, making it a challenging and key text for the wide array of fields in which the social sciences intersect with all aspects of the production of and inequalities in health."
Rayna Rapp, Professor of Anthropology, New York University, USA
In this fully revised and updated second edition of An Anthropology of Biomedicine, authors Lock and Nguyen introduce biomedicine from an anthropological perspective, exploring the entanglement of material bodies with history, environment, culture, and politics. Drawing on historical and ethnographic work, the book critiques the assumption made by the biological sciences of a universal human body that can be uniformly standardized. It focuses on the ways in which the application of biomedical technologies brings about radical changes to societies at large based on socioeconomic inequalities and ethical disputes, and develops and integrates the theory that the human body in health and illness is not an ontological given but a moveable, malleable entity.
This second edition includes new chapters on: microbiology and the microbiome; global health; and, the self as a socio–technical system. In addition, all chapters have been comprehensively revised to take account of developments from within this fast–paced field, in the intervening years between publications. References and figures have also been updated throughout.
This highly–regarded and award–winning textbook (Winner of the 2010 Prose Award for Archaeology and Anthropology) retains the character and features of the previous edition. Its coverage remains broad, including discussion of: biomedical technologies in practice; anthropologies of medicine; biology and human experiments; infertility and assisted reproduction; genomics, epigenomics, and uncertain futures; and molecularizing racial difference, ensuring it remains the essential text for students of anthropology, medical anthropology as well as public and global health.
The Argument 1
Interwoven Themes 2
Improving Global Health: The Challenge 4
Biomedicine as Technology 5
Does Culture Exist? 7
A word About Ethnography 10
1 Biomedical Technologies in Practice 15
2 The Normal Body 29
3 Anthropologies of Medicine 51
4 Colonial Disease and Biological Commensurability 79
5 Grounds for Comparison: Biology and Human Experiments 103
6 The Right Population 127
7 Who Owns the Body? 161
8 The Social Life of Human Organs 185
9 Making Kinship: Infertility and Assisted Reproduction 213
10 The Sociotechnical Self 241
11 Genes as Embodied Risk 265
12 Global Health 291
13 From Local to Situated Biologies 313
14 Of Microbes and Humans 335
15 Genomics, Epigenomics and Uncertain Futures 349
16 Molecularizing Racial Difference 371
MARGARET LOCK is Professor Emerita at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Dept. of Social Studies of Medicine and Dept. of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Officier de L′Ordre national du Québec, Officer of the Order of Canada, and an elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Author and/or co–editor of 18 books and over 220 articles, Lock is a medical anthropologist whose work focuses on embodiment, comparative epistemologies of medical knowledge, and the global impact of biomedical technologies.
VINH–KIM NGUYEN is Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland and at the University of Montreal, Canada. He is also Chair of Anthropology and Global Health at the Collège d′Études mondiales in Paris. He is a medical anthropologist and practicing physician who practices in infectious diseases and emergency care and has worked on the frontlines of global health efforts particularly in West Africa since 1994.