Features

Pesticides and global health: ‘ambivalent objects’ in anthropological perspective

Pesticides: can’t live with them, can’t live without them

In Sri Lanka, producers of the illicit liquor kasippu sometimes suspend a bottle of pesticide above the vat during the fermentation process. It is believed the kasippu will absorb the potency of the pesticide and add to its strength, increasing drinkers’ intoxication and pleasure. But there is also a danger the …

Features

Beyond “Wombs for Rent”: Indian Surrogates and the Need for Evidence-Based Policy

“We know that if we take some trouble with our body, it will take care of the education of our children; or we will be able to have a house, so we will be able to live well; or we will be able to satisfy the expectations of our children. This is what every woman thinks. So, if she cuts

Books

Cecilia Van Hollen’s Birth in the Age of AIDS

Birth in the Age of AIDS: Women, Reproduction, and HIV/AIDS in India

By Cecilia Van Hollen

Stanford University Press, 2013. 274 pp.

 

Cecilia Van Hollen’s latest book, Birth in the Age of AIDS: Women, Reproduction, and HIV/AIDS in India, provides a nuanced, readable, and extremely compelling exploration of the lived experiences of women enrolled in prevention of parent …

Features

Putting Science in its Place

In some corners of anthropology, it has been said that science studies lacks a robust sense of place. But many capable ethnographers have brought labs, hospital suites, and production facilities to life, giving readers a granular sense for what distinguishes these sites from other milieux. What, precisely, might be missing? Consider the word “place.” As science studies scholars have repeatedly …

Books

Stefan Ecks’ Eating Drugs

Eating Drugs: Psychopharmaceutical Pluralism in India

by Stefan Ecks

New York University Press, 2013. 233 pp.

 

In Stefan Ecks’ poignant ethnography, he illuminates the relationship between digestive health and mental health in Calcutta, paying particular attention to the contributions this relationship has made to a pharmaceuticalized India. He traces three medical systems––Ayurvedic, homeopathic and allopathic––as they each locate the …

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(Dis)harmonious Socialities: Deaf multi-level marketing participation in India

In this post, I want to think about what the popularity of multi-level marketing businesses among Indian Sign Language-using deaf Indians means for how anthropologists and other social scientists analyze deaf worlds. In the current political economic moment, many deaf Indians are turning to multi-level marketing businesses for both livelihood and for imagining new deaf futures. There is the sense …