Stories in the Time of Cholera: Racial Profiling During a Medical Nightmare by C.L. Briggs (Paperback, 2004)
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- DescriptionCholera, although it can kill an adult through dehydration in half a day, is easily treated. Yet in 1992-93, some five hundred people died from cholera in the Orico Delta of eastern Venezuela. In some communities, a third of the adults died in a single night, as anthropologist Charles Briggs and Clara Mantini-Briggs, a Venezuelan public health physician, reveal in their frontline report. Why, they ask in this moving and thought-provoking account, did so many die near the end of the twentieth century from a bacterial infection associated with the premodern past? It was evident that the number of deaths resulted t only from inadequacies in medical services but also from the failure of public health officials to inform residents that cholera was likely to arrive. Less evident were the ways that scientists, officials, and politicians connected representations of infectious diseases with images of social inequality. In Venezuela, cholera was racialized as officials used anthropological tions of 'culture' in deflecting blame away from their institutions and onto the victims themselves. The disease, the space of the Orico Delta, and the 'indigeus ethnic group' who suffered cholera all came to seem somehow synymous. One of the major threats to people's health worldwide is this deadly cycle of passing the blame. Carefully documenting how stigma, stories, and statistics circulate across borders, this first-rate ethgraphy demonstrates that the process undermines all the efforts of physicians and public health officials and at the same time contributes catastrophically to epidemics t only of cholera but also of tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS, and other killers. The authors have harnessed their own outrage over what took place during the epidemic and its aftermath in order to make clear the political and human stakes involved in the circulation of narratives, resources, and germs.
- Author BiographyCharles L. Briggs is the Alan Dundes Distinguished Professor and Professor and Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, and most recently coauthored Voices of Modernity (with Richard Bauman, 2003). Clara Mantini-Briggs, M.D. M.P.H., is an Associate Researcher in the Department of Demography and is affiliated with the PhD Program in Medical Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and the Director of Fundacion para las Investigaciones Aplicadas Orinoco, which conducts research and initiates programs aimed at improving health conditions in Delta Amacuro, Venezuela.
- Author(s)C.L. Briggs
- PublisherUniversity of California Press
- Date of Publication17/09/2004
- SubjectMedical Nursing & Ancillary Services
- Place of PublicationBerkerley
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of California Press
- Content Note38 b/w photographs, 5 line illustrations, 5 maps, 2 tables
- Weight481 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine28 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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