Anthropological Analysis

the movement of goods and human resources treating someone differently based on an assigned category long-term effects of large forces and legacies including slavery, colonialism, and imperialism the ability to do or act the ability and chance to do something a constructed term used to describe the patterns of behavior and beliefs among various groups of people how words are understood, including language used and connotations to turn a non-commodity into a commodity item to pay no attention to damage the area into which one can move; physical, mental, academic, etc. anything handed down from one generation to the next the power to do the act of buying, selling, or exchanging commodities something done acquired by experience the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services the power society and social organizations have over individuals examining human interactions on a global scale, ie. macroeconomics, world history, international movements, etc. opposing injustice; uneven rights; disparity lack of knowledge or understanding the interference or imposition of one on another to deeply inbed in one's mind a series of actions something deemed necessary the arrangement of institutions that govern how humans interact to become accustomed to seeing/hearing/experiencing something through repeated contact the development of a person through active learning the ability to approach and use the ways in which structures interact and operate a system or practice, ie. racism, classism, sexism, etc. the overall condition of one's mind, body, and soul allowances with what is good, right, and just to have power or direction over another Image Map
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Defining Structural Violence


Structural violence presents itself in a number of ways within the health sector. The legacy of the flow of resources from the global south to the global north can contribute to poor health systems as seen in Haiti, limit the choices available to individuals by restricting access to information as in Brooklyn, create the uneven distribution of global power that does not easily lend themselves to fighting disease as in Pakistan, and facilitate news systems that underreport on serious issues therefore limiting awareness, funding, and interventions as in Native American populations in the United States.

Global health inequalities result from a system of oppression, violence, and injustice.  Through socially and historically embedded structures, individuals become vulnerable and susceptible to preventable diseases and illnesses. There is no one solution to fighting structural violence, although its effects are frequent and undeniable.

The following questions are meant to spark dialogue and critical thinking:

  1. Define structural violence in your own words. Then, imagine you are talking to another student at your school and make the concept personally relevant to them.
  2. Explain how structural violence has contributed to the continued transmission of polio in Pakistan, issues surrounding reproductive rights among Puerto Rican women in Brooklyn, the cholera outbreak in Haiti, and high rates of diabetes among Native American populations.
  3. List as many -isms as you can (see above image for working definition). Are any relevant to the four case studies presented here? Defend your answers.
  4. Who has the responsibility to address each health inequality and how?