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Mana

Print version ISSN 0104-9313On-line version ISSN 1678-4944

Abstract

TAVARES, Fátima. Revisiting concepts in the anthropology of health: notes on therapeutic agencies. Mana [online]. 2017, vol.23, n.1, pp.201-228. ISSN 0104-9313.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1678-49442017v23n1p201.

This article raises questions about the use of certain theoretical concepts in the investigation of healing processes in the contemporary world. Its main argument is that interpretative models based on dichotomies and classifications that freeze concepts like ‘body’, ‘subject’ and ‘experience’ are unhelpful in investigations of the mediations of therapeutic experiments. In support of this argument, I discuss some dilemmas concerning the very constitution of the object of an anthropology of the body and health and of the therapeutic choices in ethnographic situations involving indigenous peoples and in contexts of religious adherence. I then criticize some key concepts in anthropology of the body and health. Finally, I propose the concept of ‘therapeutic agency’ as an alternative approach to the discussions of therapeutic itinerary and experience.

Keywords : body; experience; therapeutic itinerary; therapeutic agency.

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