Global Health in Times of Violence

Edited by Barbara Rylko-Bauer, Linda Whiteford, and Paul Farmer

Global Health in Times of ViolenceGlobal Health in Times of ViolenceGlobal Health in Times of Violence

Initially, the group of leading medical anthropologists who gathered at SAR for a 2006 seminar intended to examine global health issues with violence as the backdrop for their analysis. “As seminar participants listened and explored one another’s work, the focus shifted to violence itself, viewed through the prism of health and health care,” wrote the volume editors in their prologue to this groundbreaking book. In the words of seminar participant Kris Heggenhougen, it was evident “that if we wanted to understand anything about health, we had to understand something about violence.”

In this extraordinary book, these scholars explore the relationships of health and health care to violence in the conventional sense—war and homicide, for instance—as well as to rarely acknowledged forms of structural and symbolic violence such as poverty, hunger, exclusion, discrimination, racism, institutionalized inequality, and violence against women in the form of rape and abuse. Their fieldwork sites span the globe, including Central America, Rwanda, Angola, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, and—closer to home—Hartford, Connecticut. 

“What anthropologists are particularly well positioned to do is to make the invisible visible, to hear those without words, to trace the hidden connections, and to keep the individual close while seeing the global. Much of anthropological research is on-the-ground, personal, and intimate observation of lives shared. This is what forms the basis for the suggestions by the authors in this volume: witness, advocate, expose,” write the editors in the epilogue of this eye- and heart-opening book.

Find out more about Global Health in Times of Violence by visiting the SAR website (opens in new browser window).

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