Diabetes and Culture
Posted: 8 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 2012
Diabetes and its many manifestations articulate well with the four-field approach in anthropology, providing an almost seamless example of the relationship between human biology, behavior, society, and culture in both the past and the present tense. In general, publications on diabetes and culture echo Enlightenment philosophies on change and progress that posit the increasing prevalence of diabetes as a “crisis in human relations” ( Bendix 1967 , p. 302) for which culture plays a significant role. The undermining of racial approaches due to what now appears to be diabetes-without-borders has also directed anthropological research into the contingent temporal frameworks of history. The recent attention to society and the social production of the disease may portend the end of culture in research on diabetes and culture.
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