The article entitled A New Reflexivity: Why Anthropology Matters in Contemporary Health Research and Practice, and How to Make It Matter More by Closser and Finley (2016) provides an insight into the benefits of Anthropology in public health and medicine. The authors explain that anthropologists have an exceptional opportunity to contribute to the development of clinical and public health structures despite the presence of anthropological concerns. Moreover, the article provides an insight into the powerful grasp that anthropology has on the link between wide-scale social structures and personally lived realities. At the same time, the authors note that the field of anthropology has unique and unparalleled methods of capturing different tones of context. However, the article identifies a set of challenges that anthropologists need to overcome to realize their particular strengths. The report is very informative and exciting as it highlights points that are often overlooked by a majority of anthropologists. Additionally, the article prompts me to think of ways in which anthropologists can contribute to understanding the COVID-19 pandemic.
I agree with the notion that Anthropology makes a significant contribution to the field of clinical and public health. Anthropology can understand context due to the ability to illuminate different settings. According to Closser and Finley (2016), anthropology is vital for understanding human behavior and experience, including the contexts of illness and health in an interlinked universe where change occurs rapidly and continuously. The examples incorporated by the authors also indicate that anthropologies can develop solutions that are effective in both the clinical as well as the practical situations due to their capacity to critically assess the practices and structures of public health and medical institutions. In my opinion, anthropology is essential in regards to the clinical methods of identifying the transmission, prevention, and treatment of the majority of the illnesses as anthropology incorporates different aspects of history, cultural and political contexts of people. For instance, the anthropologists can use their abilities to assess how human behavior impacts the rate of transmission of an illness as well as identify effective measures that can be applied to reduce the frequency of the spread of diseases.
The paper highlights the main challenge that anthropologists face and, at the same time, provides sample solutions that can be incorporated to combat these challenges. Closser and Finley (2016) noted that there was an argument that ethnographic evidence is not taken seriously in public health, as anthropological research is sometimes unnoticed in the field of public health or medicine. The authors blame this challenge on the failure of communication such that anthropologists need to communicate with the health professionals in a thoughtful and culturally appropriate language. I believe that anthropology can help to make advancements in clinical and public health by advancing communication between the general community and the healthcare sector. Anthropologists, as professionals, can help to improve public understanding of their needs and contexts and communicate this information to both the public as well as healthcare professionals to facilitate quality healthcare services. I agree with the authors' statement that anthropologists can generate writings with clear language that is easily understood by other disciplines. Additionally, anthropologists can provide informative communication of their qualitative and quantitative data using appropriate theories and methodologies. This information can be essential in creating a solid base for communication and teamwork among both the anthropologists and the healthcare officials.
I think that the article is interesting as it sheds significant areas that anthropology can make substantial contributions to the clinical and public health sectors. Additionally, one of the issues I noticed is that the authors continuously include specific reasons in which anthropology benefits the health sector instead of using a generalized term such as "reasons." For instance, the article notes that in the health sector, the specific reason for the incorporation of anthropology is the role it plays in understanding the socio-cultural, political, and historical context of an illness within the community. Anthropology is beneficial and significant as it can provide the structural and practical framework of society concerning the cultural, political, and historical context (Closser & Finley, 2016). Therefore, the familiarization of the specific reason makes it easy for the application of the anthropological lens to provide further insight into the cultural thinking of the community. This application can also be made in response to the present circumstances in the community, such as combating the current global pandemic. In my opinion, anthropologists are aware of the sectors where their insights can be most effective and have identified situations where their contributions would be most valued concerning the clinical and public health sectors.
I believe that the article is significant and effective in delivering the message on the contributions, challenges, and solutions to the relevance of anthropology in the healthcare sector. I believe that going forward; the article might be vital in helping us to focus on how anthropology in the current situation of a global COVID-19 pandemic, can help to break down the misconceptions regarding illness and health such as the identification of the virus by ethnicity as "the Chinese virus." With the help of Anthropology, such pitfalls can be avoided as anthropology will be able to measure those socio-cultural pitfalls that contribute to the general quality of life for individuals facing stigmatism. Moreover, I think that Anthropologists, with the help of healthcare officials, can be able to address the health fears that are associated with the global pandemic. As part of their contribution, anthropologists can be able to identify how socio-cultural factors can contribute to the health crisis as well as information that is received by the community. Therefore, in combating the global pandemic, I believe that anthropologists can make a significant contribution of identifying the factors that contribute to screening, prevention, and treatment of the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
Closser, S., & Finley, E. P. (2016). A new reflexivity: Why anthropology matters in contemporary health research and practice, and how to make it matter more. American Anthropologist, 118(2), 385-390. https://doi.org/10.1111/aman.12532
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