This panel will consider the potential for collaboration and critique in the relationship between anthropology and public health. Anthropologists and practitioners working across all levels and domains within and outside public health are invited to participate.
The relationship between anthropology and public health is a complex and multifaceted one. Some anthropologists work directly with and for public health projects at the 'macro' level in the arena of international or global health policy and planning; others work at the the 'micro' level in a variety of national, regional and local grassroots contexts. Still others conduct research that, while not part of any public health project per se, has direct relevance to public health issues and concerns. This panel will look at how the theories and methods of anthropology can act as both a support and critique of efforts to improve public health in its many and diverse spheres of activity. Does an anthropological perspective on how to promote the health of the public call for particular theoretical approaches and methods? Opportunities will be offered for reflective feedback from public health practitioners as well as contributions from anthropologists working in the field, bearing in mind that 'practitioner' and 'anthropologist' can sometimes be one and the same person.