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Children's health and well-being: an ethnography of an upper Egyptian village

Sholkamy, Hania Mohamed (1997) Children's health and well-being: an ethnography of an upper Egyptian village. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis is about children's health and well-being as constructed and maintained by villagers in Upper Egypt. It is based on primary data collected during eighteen months of fieldwork in a small village in the district of Abnube in the east of Assiut Governorate in the south of Egypt. The thesis also relies on secondary statistical and qualitative sources. This work makes three propositions concerning children's health. The first proposition is that children's heal th is a distinct part of the traditional medical cultures of Egypt and one that should be integral to the analysis of medical culture, pluralism, and services. More over, the focus on child health and ill-health provides a critical commentary to on-going debates about health and healing in Egypt. The second proposition is that the study of child health and ill-health is an essential and missing component of the ethnography of rural Egyptians. An awareness of the relevance of children, and of the efforts of families to keep them healthy, to the cultural, social, political, and economic construction of family and village can significantly add to anthropological understanding of the Egyptian peasant and village. The third proposition is that the study of health as a socially and historically constructed category is as important, if not more so, than the study of ill-health. This work looks at processes whereby health is conceptualized and their relevance to the ensuing constructions of ill-health. The work also tries to establish the relationship between village discourses on health and the discourse dominant in the language, services, and structures of modern biomedicine in Egypt. In this thesis, health is viewed as an arena where cultural, historical, social, as well as economic relationships and structures come to shape family practices and choices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1997 Hania Mohamed Sholkany
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Supervisor: Loizos, Peter

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