Vital Politics: Medicine and Citizenship in Venezuela, by Amy Ellen Cooper.

Civic participation in the administration of public healthcare in contemporary Venezuela is an opportunity to enact citizenship and negotiate and contest the government’s provision of services. As Amy Cooper explains, the participation of Venezuelans in the country’s newly public medical institutions represents not only a change in how individuals perceive health, but also in how citizenship in Venezuela has become “medically mediated” (p. 6). In her dissertation, Cooper reexamines anthropological understanding of “medical citizenship” to explain new meanings of health and health practices in relation to political subjectivities and citizenship among residents of a working class neighborhood in Caracas’ historic district. By focusing on “patienthood” and the people’s involvement in the state welfare system known as Misión Barrio Adentro, Cooper deconstructs the complex features that characterize medico-political affairs in contemporary Venezuela. This dissertation investigates how seeking better health is about more than just curing a “broken body but about a new sense of agency over one’s body and health and de-marginalizing oneself physically, socially and politically” (p. 116).

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Anthropology Courses Online – MIT OpenCourseware

Anthropology studies humankind from a comparative perspective that emphasizes the diversity of human behavior and the importance of culture in explaining that diversity.
While the discipline encompasses the biological nature of our species and the material aspects of human adaptation, it takes as fundamental the idea that we respond to nature and natural forces in large part through culture. Anthropology, then, is the study of human beings as cultural animals. Sociocultural anthropology draws its data from the direct study of contemporary peoples living in a wide variety of circumstances, from peasant villagers and tropical forest hunters and gatherers to urban populations in modern societies, as well as from the history and prehistory of those peoples.
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The Right to the City Movement and the Turkish Summer. By Jay Cassano

Jun 01 2013

As I write this, Istanbul is under siege. The might of Istanbul’s entire police force—the largest city police force in Europe—is violently cracking down on peaceful occupiers in Gezi Park. The protest, which began on 27 May, is ostensibly over a planned shopping center to be built over a park in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square. Nevertheless, massive popular movements like this do not emerge out of nowhere. Typically, they are the result of the tireless groundwork of …