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Social and political embeddedness of approaches to health and illness: author's response

Author(s): Jennifer J. Carroll

Journal: Tobacco Control and Public Health in Eastern Europe
ISSN 2222-2693

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: social anthropology | medical anthropology | social theory | public health | illness | explanatory models

Extract: Dr. Tatiana Andreeva’s reflection (Andreeva, 2013) on the diversity of approaches to public health problems (in this issue) strikes very close to the heart of my own research. Her assertion that “contrasting paradigms [of public health] that dominated in the former Soviet Union and in Western countries may include … certain pathologies, which are not recognized as such in other societies” rings particularly true. I have been researching public health responses to HIV and IV drug use in Ukraine since 2007, and I have been involved in harm reduction efforts in my home country, the United States, since 2003. Throughout the last decade, I have sought to better understand how society’s perception of drug use (or, perhaps, I should say how different perceptions of drug use that emerge in different societies) shape social and medical responses to drug use and how those responses affect the lives of addicted persons.
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