Health Care Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

A health care system is a conglomeration of institutions, organizations, ideas, practices, and social relationships that aims at improving human health. Initially, anthropological studies of health care systems focused on descriptions of medical traditions and ethnomedicine. Later, the division between personalistic and naturalistic systems and the coexistence of various medical traditions (medical pluralism) were studied. Arthur Kleinman's approach, emphasizing that health care systems are both social and cultural systems, has had an enormous impact in medical anthropology (and beyond). Since the beginning of the twenty‐first century, notions of biological citizenship and therapeutic citizenship have been important in analyses of health care systems, where links between individual citizens and the state are examined. In contemporary studies of global health, critical and engaged questions about access to health care, inequality, the impact of new medical technologies, and the quality of public and private health care services are included in anthropological analyses of health care systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Anthropology
EditorsHilary Callan
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 160405748