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Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology: SoMA: Students of Medical Anthropology


SoMA Masters Showcase 2017

When: 10am-3pm, 6th September 2017

Where: CMB

SoMA organised this showcase of the 2017 University of Edinburgh Anthropology Masters students' research. This showcase also allowed incoming Anthropology post graduate students to see the projects they would be undertaking the year ahead, and ask those that that (just recently!) been there to give advice!

Masters student speakers included:

Benjamin Heck – ‘Diagnosticisation’: The Politics of ICD Codes in the Genetics Clinic

The dysmorphology practice and the genetics clinic are at the core of the new genetics’ field and are considered appropriate spaces where this expanding transformative knowledge is experienced, reshaping social structures and reorganising social lives. This study is about the diagnosticisation of the subject with a genetic syndrome, who is objectified as a code to count and matter to the modern bureaucracy of healthcare system. It is about the journey and experiences of patients that struggle to access genetic services in Brazil. While the symbolic representation of ICD codes (International Classification of Diseases) are accepted, negotiated or refuted by the diagnostical subject, pragmatics guide the redistribution of rights, duties and powers, revealing ambivalent interactions among patients, doctors, state institutions and private insurance companies.

Bernardo Moreno Peniche – Trailing non-endemicity: Chagas disease in the United States 

Chagas disease is a vector-borne parasitical disease that affects around 8 million people in Latin America, where it is endemic. The parasite, T. cruzi, is transmitted by “kissing bugs” (triatomines). It causes life threatening cardiac and digestive damage that becomes manifest after decades of infections. In spite of having established populations of T. cruzi, triatomines, and nonhuman animal hosts, the US is not classified as a Chagas disease-endemic country. This paper follows the trails of humans and nonhumans as they become entangled with bordering practices set to build an endemic landscape of disease through which the US becomes, in fact, non-endemic to Chagas disease. 

Mark Gotink – Who takes care of Public Bodies? A case of integrating care in Scotland through the Public Bodies Act 2014.

Much has been written about the integration of adult health and social care in the context of contemporary Scottish policy. However, an anthropologically informed understanding of integrated care is clearly lacking in the academic and policy discourse. The following dissertation seeks to contribute to such an understanding, and can best be read alongside the anthropology of bureaucracy and managerialism and alongside the literature of integrated care. It further draws on policy grey literature and on primary interview data with persons responsible for integration. Because the research coincided with the implementation phase of the Public Bodies Act 2014, the dissertation is able to ask how integrating care is done in practice and, particularly, how the people tasked with the responsibility of integrating care experience this practice. It thus starts with a discursive analysis of the integration of adult health and social care in Scotland, demonstrating the centrality of a managerial discourse in the integration of care. The second chapter follows on with a discussion of how integration appears to be done in practice and considers the relevant anthropology. The third and final chapter builds upon the more critical strands of the anthropology of bureaucracy and managerialism to take serious the experiences of people tasked with the managerial integration of care. As such, this chapter contributes to an ethnographic understanding by highlighting how managers themselves are under-acknowledged as sites of integrating care, and revealing how the concept of integration is negotiated together with notions of collective responsibility and care.

Caroline Gold – HIV, Stigma, and Faith: How African Faith Leaders Understand HIV in Scotland

This paper examines how the African faith community addresses HIV and HIV-related stigma in Scotland. HIV is a significant and often unacknowledged issue within the African community in Scotland, affecting Africans at a much higher rate than the general Scottish population. Churches and faith leaders are increasingly studied for their contributions to promoting HIV awareness and countering HIV-related stigma and may be especially important for the African community in Scotland. In the past, faith leaders have been reluctant to address issues of HIV but many faith leaders have since become open to working with Waverley Care Scotland, an HIV charity based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland. Drawing on semi-structured interviews of faith leaders and individuals working with Waverley Care, I examine reasons behind this shift and analyze the complex and often contradictory relationship between faith, stigma, and HIV.

Session 2: Incoming Student Q&A

masters showcase 1

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