Embodying Violence and the Biocultural Approach: What can nomadic herders from Northern Kenya teach us about linking context to global health disparities?

Embodying Violence and the Biocultural Approach: What can nomadic herders from Northern Kenya teach us about linking context to global health disparities?

07mar12:00 pm1:30 pmEmbodying Violence and the Biocultural Approach: What can nomadic herders from Northern Kenya teach us about linking context to global health disparities?

Event Details

MARCH 07, 2011

Embodying Violence and the Biocultural Approach: What can nomadic herders from Northern Kenya teach us about linking context to global health disparities?
IVY PIKE, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY

Growing efforts to carefully link social environments to biological experiences have emerged in many disciplines; Anthropology is no exception. This integrative perspective aims to place bodies in context with a strong awareness of the role gradients of inequality play in shaping population variation in health. While much anthropological research contributes to our understanding of extreme inequality on health (e.g. Farmer 1999, 2003) less attention has been paid to the precise mechanisms that allow context to be embodied. The most precise mechanisms derive from evolutionary biology with an emphasis on environment / biology interactions, especially as they unfold across growth and development. In this paper, I draw on a case study of nomadic herders from Northern Kenya to examine the benefits of an evolutionary informed approach to studying global health disparities. The herding communities experience geopolitical marginalization with endemic violence in the form of AK-47 raids. Such a backdrop comes with a suite of predictable health indicators but with some noteworthy differences. These differences are linked to the sociocultural environment and to the community responses to violence. As such, they create an opportunity to link context to the biology of inequality in more nuanced ways as an integrative model for global health policy.

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Time

(Monday) 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Location

Haines Hall 352

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