ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Arima MishraSubscribe to Arima Mishra

The Making of ‘Local Health Traditions’ in India

The Indian government’s attention to the mainstreaming of traditional systems of medicine and the revitalisation of community-based local health traditions needs to be viewed as a part of its overall mandate of strengthening traditional systems of medicine. An analysis of existing policy documents and reviews reveals that LHTs have an eclectic policy history in India, marked by several decades of neglect by the state, with sporadic attention to the LHT practitioners as community health workers, to an upsurge of seemingly explicit, and yet somehow obtuse interest in revitalisation. Tracing the evolution (and dissolution) of these trajectories chronologically reveals that there is ambiguity and inconsistency around the rationales for the revitalisation of LHTs, potentially leading to fragmented medical pluralism.

Euthanasia: A Social Science Perspective

The social sciences, more specifically medical sociology/anthropology have extensively probed issues related to the body, illness and pain. However, issues surrounding death and dying, more specifically, euthanasia are relatively conspicuous by their absence. This article seeks to show up the contexts that define euthanasia as a "just" option. It attempts to unravel other issues like the quality of end-of-life care, familial support, degree of dependency, agency in decision-making, ethical dilemma and related discourses that help us understand euthanasia in cross-cultural contexts.

Local Perceptions of Famine

The sociological approach to famines focuses on the study of the affected community and its social responses to the event. But this one-sided focus neglects the responses of other sections of society who, while remaining relatively unaffected, are in ways instrumental in the creation of famine. Thus, the question of how famine is enacted and rendered persistent in a society is yet to be fully answered. This paper draws on observations of a field study conducted in a village in Orissa?s Kalahandi district and looks at institutionalised socio-economic relationships and community transactions in the process of production. Famine, in this theoretical construct, appears as a long-drawn process of socio-economic and biological decline, in contrast to accepted notions of famine as an ?event?.
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