Faculty with Medical Anthropology Interests

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Kalman Applbaum
Paul Brodwin
Ben Campbell
Barbara L. Ley
Michael J. Oldani (UW-Whitewater)
Jill Owczarzak (Medical College of Wisconsin)

Kalman Applbaum

My research centers on the intersection between medicine and commerce. Using my background as an economic anthropologist and a former business school professor, I have sought to analyze the role of marketing principles and practices in the creation and distribution of pharmaceuticals globally. Thus far I have concentrated on psychiatric medications. I supplement my provider-level analyses (ethnographic and historical) with observations and interviews in psychiatric hospitals.

I am engaged in two projects. First, I am writing a book in pursuit of concepts and solutions to the conundrum of how profit-oriented market actors such as pharmaceutical companies can be influenced to yield fairer benefit to public health. Second, I am studying the comparative role of psychopharmaceuticals in the transformation of psychiatric practice and the deinstitutionalization of mental healthcare between Japan and the United States. My goal is less to compare two healthcare environments than to conceive the existence of one emergent system at work in two very different places-the transition from patient-citizens to patient-consumers and the construction of subjectivity under the canopy of drug intervention as against institutional encasement. My focus is on globalization itself not as an incidental context or consequence but as a direct subject. The justification for this approach lies in the already substantial standardization in the application of pharmaceutical treatment for mental illness, as well as in the epidemiological claim that globalization is itself a major irritant in the increase of mental illness around the world.

Forthcoming. Consumers are Patients: Shared Decision Making and Treatment Non-compliance as Business Opportunity. Transcultural Psychiatry.

2006. Pharmaceutical Marketing and the Invention of the Medical Consumer. PLoS Medicine April 3(4): e189. (pdf 121kb)

2006. Educating for Global Mental Health: American Pharmaceutical Companies and the Adoption of SSRIs in Japan. In Pharmaceuticals and Globalization: Ethics, Markets, Practices, Petryna, Adriana, Andrew Lakoff, Arthur Kleinman, eds. Duke University Press, pp. 85-110. (pdf 633KB)

2004. How to Organize a Psychiatric Congress. Anthropological Quarterly. 77(2):303-310. (pdf 417kb)

Working Paper
Where Demand Meets Supply: Understanding the Power of Marketing Channels through the Pharmaceuticalization of Psychiatric Medicine. Paper for Rethinking Anthropology, A Human-Centered Approach. London School of Economics, January 11, 2008. http://www.rethinkingeconomies.org.uk/web/d/doc_62.pdf

Paul Brodwin

Research/scholarly interests:
I am a broadly trained medical anthropologist who has conducted ethnographic research both internationally (Haiti and the French West Indies) and in the US (chronic pain centers, human population genetics, and urban community psychiatry). My work has been supported by the Fulbright Foundation, National Human Genome Research Institute (and R01 grant), the National Science Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Fund for Anthropological Research. I study the intersection of medical practices and illness experience with ethical systems and moral discourses. My work explores how moral orders are produced and disrupted by both clinicians and patients. My current research focuses particularly on the moral landscape of mental health services for marginalized and disenfranchised groups. My current project examines "everyday ethics" among psychiatrists, social workers, and case managers in an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program in inner-city Milwaukee. ACT is a popular mode for providing out-patient medical care to people with persistent, severe mental illness. This project explores the zones of enduring ethical vulnerability in ACT. It asks how clinicians articulate ethical dilemmas in everyday work, and it specifies the slippage between conventional bioethics and the emergent dilemmas faced by front-line practitioners. The work draws on practice theory and Science & Technology Studies, and it aims to advance the dialogue between bioethics and anthropology.

I maintain connections with local researchers through my joint appointments as Adjunct Associate Professor of Bioethics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Core Scientist in qualitative methods at the Center for AIDS Intervention Research, part of the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

My books:
Medicine and Morality in Haiti: The Contest for Healing Power, Cambridge University Press, 1996. Publisher's catalog entry.

Biotechnology and Culture: Bodies, Anxieties, Ethics, Indiana University Press, 2001. Publisher's catalog entry.

Pain as Human Experience: An Anthropological Perspective, University of California Press, 1994. Publisher's catalog entry.

Selected articles:
Bioethics in Action and Human Population Genetics Reseach. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 29(2): 145-178, June 2005. (pdf, 154kb)

Pluralism and Politics in Global Bioethics Education. Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education 7(2): 80-86, Fall, 2001. (pdf, 47kb)

The Coproduction of Moral Discourse in U.S. Community Psychiatry. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 22(2): 127-147, 2008. (pdf 131kb)

Guest Editorial: Mediations of Power in Contemporary Medical Anthropology. Anthropology in Action: Journal for Applied Anthropology in Policy and Practice 14(3): 1-6, Winter 2007. (pdf 123kb)

Genetics, Identity and the Anthropology of Essentialism. AQ: Anthropological Quarterly 75(2): 323-330, Spring 2002. ( (pdf 155kb)

Ben Campbell

Benjamin Campbell's interests in medical anthropology include the ecological basis of health in subsistence societies. I take an evolutionary approach in comparing the origin of health problems in both the developing work and in our own society. My research in medical anthropology has included a study of local disease categories among Turkana pastoralists of Northern Kenya. More recent research focuses on the development of attention deficient disorder (ADHD) in cross-cultural and evolutionary perspective as well as the role of neurological mechanisms in common psychiatric conditions such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, as well as depression.

2007. Campbell, B.C., Eisenberg D.T. ADHD, Obesity, and the Dopaminergic Reward System. Collegium Anthropologicum 31:33-38.

2005. Gray P.B. Campbell, B.C. Erectile function and its correlates among the Ariaal of Northern Kenya. International Journal of Impotence Research 17:445-449.

2005 Campbell B.C., Pope H.G., Filiault S. Body image among Ariaal men from northern Kenya. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology 36:371-379.

2005. Campbell B.C. High rate of prostate symptoms among Ariaal men from northern Kenya. The Prostate 62:83-90. (pdf 633kb)

2002. Halpern C.T., Campbell B.C., Agnew C.R., Thompson V., Udry J.R. Associations between stress reactivity and sexual and non-sexual risk taking in young adult human males. Hormones and Behavior 42:387-98.

2001. Barkey N.L., Campbell B.C., Leslie P.W. A comparison of health complaints of settled and nomadic Turkana men. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 15:1-18. (pdf 1.4mb)

2000. Campbell B.C., Lukas W.D., Campbell K.C. Immune function and gonadal function. In Reproductive Ecology and Human Evolution. Ellison P.T. (ed.) Aldine deGruyter pp. 159-178. (pdf 5.1mb)

2000. Campbell B.C., Cajigal A. Diabetes: energetics, development and human evolution. Medical Hypotheses 57:64-67.

1999. Halpern C.T., Udry J.R., Campbell B.C., Suchindran, C. Effects of body fat on weight concerns, dating and sexual activity: A longitudinal analysis of black and white females. Developmental Psychology 35:721-726.

1996. Harlow S.D., Campbell B.C. Ethnic differences in the duration and amount of menstrual bleeding during the post-menarcheal period. American Journal of Epidemiology 144:980-9.

1994. Harlow S., Campbell B.C. Host factors that influence the duration of menstrual bleeding. Epidemiology 5:352-355.

1994. Campbell B.C., Mbizvo, M. T. Sexual behavior and HIV-knowledge among adolescent boys in Zimbabwe. Central African Journal of Medicine 40:245-250. (pdf 507kb)

Barbara L. Ley

Barbara L. Ley is an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication where she conducts research on the social and cultural dimensions of health, science, and technology. She is currently completing a book entitled, A Movement in the Making: Breast Cancer Activism, Science, and the Environment (Rutgers University Press). This book presents a cultural history of the U.S. environmental breast cancer movement's scientific, political, and sociocultural efforts to challenge the dominant biomedical paradigm for addressing the disease by promoting disease prevention, especially regarding human exposure to synthetic toxins. Ley's other research interests include digital health cultures and communities (especially ones related to pregnancy and mothering), the cultural dimensions of infertility and the reproductive health sciences, and the social implications of depictions of DNA-testing in foresenic television entertainment shows. She has published articles in American Behavioral Scientist, Medical Anthropology, and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. She also teaches courses on digital culture, as well as health and the media.

Ley, Barbara L. 2007. "Vive Les Roses: The Architecture of Commitment in an Online Pregnancy and Mothering Group." Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 12(4). (http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol12/issue4/ley.html)

Ley, Barbara L. 2006. "Disease Categories and Disease Kinships: Classification Practices in the U.S. Environmental Breast Cancer Movement." Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies of Health and Illness 25(2): 101-139. (http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/gmea/2006/ 00000025/00000002/art00001)

Heath, Deborah, Erin Koch, Barbara Ley, and Michael Montoya. 1999. "Nodes and Queries: Linking Locations in Networked Fields of Inquiry." American Behavioral Scientist 43(3): 450-463. (http://abs.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/43/3/450)

Other Medical Anthropologists

Michael J. Oldani, Ph.D.

Curriculum Vita: (pdf 86kb)

I am currently an assistant professor of medical anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I trained at Princeton University where I received my doctoral degree in 2006 for the dissertation: Filling Scripts: A Multisited Ethnography of Pharmaceutical Sales Practices, Psychiatric Prescribing, and Phamily Life in North America. My ethnographic work has primarily been focused on two areas. The first is the sales activities of multinational pharmaceutical companies at a local level - the drug rep - doctor exchange. For this work I have drawn heavily on my past experience as a drug rep in the industry in the 1990s (1989 to 1998) as well as my current insider contacts. The second area of interest involves ethnographically tracking prescriptions once they leave the clinic. This work has primarily focused on how psychoactive medication is shaping family relations as well as impacting the specialty of psychiatry. In addition to this I have looked at how medications, such as Ritalin, have been prescribed for Aboriginal children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Canada and how some parents have resisted this form of treatment. Collectively, these projects focus on sites where various "scripts" - pharmaceutical, familial, cultural, gendered, racial, postcolonial, etc. - intersect.

Jill Owczarzak, PhD