In the Journals

In the Journals … September 2012

You likely have barely finished reading all those articles from the August In the Journals… I will deliver you the September goods regardless and hope you’ll find something in there that keeps you interested through the exciting (but possibly overwhelming?) first weeks of the semester.

Belief is the central theme in this month’s issue of Ethos. From the journey as a trope in Quaker corporate and personal belief,  the issue leads us into the realms of Buddhist Karma narratives and different understandings of agency in Northern Thai Buddhist and Christian communities. Relational belief and community in United States emerging evangelicals and Islamic certainty in the face of contradictory daily practices in Indonesia cover additional religious beliefs in this issue.

Returning to the topic of health, central to Somatosphere, the aptly named journal Health discusses social processes, identities and conceptualization in September.
Michael Coffey presents his results from almost 60 interviews with patients, community mental health nurses and social workers regarding identity transition upon leaving forensic hospitals. Also concerned with identity is a study on ‘resilient subjects’ by Kay Aranda and colleagues. Kay Cook’s qualitative meta-analysis describes the social processes involved in single parents’ returning to work after receiving welfare. Andrew C. Sparks and colleagues are interested in different social processes: they draw from a case study on a young athlete suffering and ultimately dying from cancer. Finally, Andy Gibson and colleagues propose a theoretical framework for the analysis of patient and public involvement (PPI).

The International Journal of Social Psychiatry IJSP as usual offers a wealth of articles and book reviews.
Sanja Totic and colleagues compare medical students’ attitudes on psychiatric visits to those of non-medical students.
A qualitative study from India discusses perception of family risk of bipolar disorders among both patients and their family members.
Olayinka Atilola and Funmilayo Olayiwola look into possible correlations between stigmatizing depiction of mental illness in Nigerian film and home video distribution.
Paola Solano and colleagues are interested in the influence of unemployment on suicide risk in Italy, whereas Tarricone et al. argue that migrants in Italy use a variety of pathways to access health services.
Is depression something to feel shame about? According to Linda Denise Oakley and her colleagues, in a US-American sample of self-stigmatizing women this could be the case and might lead to them hiding their illness.
Mingyi Qian et al. compare counseling and psychotherapy services in both developed and less developed regions in China.
And a Greek study group proposes an educational intervention to reduce psychiatric stigma in classrooms.
Head over to the journal website for more articles.

In their study on traditional medicine and indigenous knowledge in Uganda in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, John RS Tabuti and colleagues find that traditional medicines are frequently used for diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, flu or back pain.
And Vania Smith-Oka offers a detailed analysis of two indigenous reproductive health illnesses in a Nahua community in Mexico.

In this month’s Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Byron J. Good’s essay attempts to theorize subjectivity in medical and psychiatric anthropology. Two book review also look interesting: The first, by Laura Noszlopy, discusses “Emotions in the field: the psychology and anthropology of fieldwork experience”, edited by James Davies & Dimitrina Spencer, and seems relevant to all involved in fieldwork. The second, written by Johan Pottier, reviews “Transactions in taste: the collaborative lives of everyday Bengali food” by Manpreet K. Janeja.

In Science as Culture, Andreas Gunnarson and Mark Elam discuss the popularization of science in a context of communication strategies for a low-carb high-fat diet trend in Sweden. Javier Lezaun and Tanja Schneider also write about food, specifically about market activism and the governance of ‘novel foods’ in Europe. Finally, the book “Birthing a mother – the surrogate body and the pregnant self” by Elly Teman, is reviewed in Science as Culture by Katharine Dow.

By Melanie Boeckmann

aiming for a PhD in Public Health, currently working in health policy and research.