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Cut

I barely slept the night before my first day of fieldwork in the OR. As a kid I had accompanied my brother to the emergency room and watched a surgeon remove shards of glass from his lower legs. The removal wasn’t bad. But when the suturing began, I got dry mouthed and over-warm and nearly fell out of my plastic …

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The broad clinical gaze in paediatric deep brain stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves using a pacemaker-like device to deliver constant, carefully targeted electrical stimulation to areas within the brain. It was first approved in the late 1990s as a therapy for managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The initial success of DBS led clinicians and device manufacturers to explore other possible applications, and in 2003 it was approved …

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Manual

While training in psychiatry, I frequently heard mental-health practitioners refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) as our profession’s “diagnostic bible.”  The DSM, of course, is the text produced by a cabal of psychiatric experts that defines the parameters of mental illness and, by extension, mental health.  It textually conveys the now commonplace assumption that psychiatry works through systems …

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Human

One almost feels sorry for the human these days.  After a heady flight toward near divinity, the figure has tumbled, Icarus-like, down from the intellectual firmament to a posthuman sea of forms, forces and flows large and small.  Even anthropology (the very citadel of anthropos!) is now awash with multispecies mashups, circulating microbes and wandering genes, not to mention zombie …

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The Joy of Giving: Emotion as Rationality in the Moral Economies of Survival

The so-called moral economy of the poor has been defined as the coming together of “a consistent traditional view of the social norms and obligations, of the proper economic functions of several parties within the community” (Thompson 1971: 79).

This particular angle on the construct of the moral economy, deriving primarily from historical, sociological, and anthropological research among “pre-industrialized” and …