What is the role of anthropology in public health research? We invite for a discussion of theories and methods, including the uncertainties and anxieties of illness and health, the politics in governmental and international health care actions, and the related responses of individuals and groups.
Illness and disease imply uncertainty and disquiet in experiences of anxiety, fear, risk or crises, implied in the processes of feeling ill, finding out what happens, and seeking cure of the body and healing of the mind. As economics, armed conflicts, natural catastrophes, or even just a quest for treatment, make people move and embody the globalized world, also diseases cross borders and become "global". At the same time health promotion and good health status have become more important than ever and constitute social and cultural capital in itself. Public health research has become an important cross-disciplinary field that concerns both disease and health. In much public health research, anthropology is invited to partake, which offers opportunities for anthropology to do a difference for the health of the public. At the same time this involvement challenges anthropology to move beyond its traditional identity as a critical discipline into a more applied field of solving practical problems. This workshop invites papers that discuss the role of anthropology in public health research. Does an anthropological perspective in public health call for specific or particular theoretical approaches and methods? Does anthropology have certain strengths in regard to research on the uncertainties and anxieties of illness and health in a public health perspective? The panel will discuss these issues based on the assumption that anthropology offers an important perspective to understand public politics in governmental and international actions, as well as, individuals' and groups' response in relation to health and disease.