Marketing Anthropology

John Mcreery (jlm@TWICS.COM)
Fri, 10 Jun 1994 11:30:33 JST

Mary Ann Mann writes,

"Child Health and Rural Health are ones I'm working on now (exact
references are in my office...) that include some amazing language
(given that they're in medicine) stating that health is affected by
social and cultural factors and *asking* for proposals that contribute
in these areas. This is a whole new area for my college, so I can't
say how things will actually go, but it certainly *looks*

Two comments:
(1) This trend is in line with recent trends toward multiculturalism in
many fields. What makes this one especially interesting is that under the
rubric of "medical anthropology" it points toward renewed interest in
integrating at least three of the traditional four fields: physical (i.e.,
biological anthropology), cultural anthropology, and linguistics (there's
a lot of interesting work to be done in the ethnography of speaking in
health care situations.
(2) As I've mentioned to some of you privately, it may also point to
unexpected funding opportunities. In Taiwan,for example, Li Yih-yuan, the
former director of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, is now
the head of the CCK (Chiang Ching Kuo) foundation--Taiwan's answer to the
Japan Foundation; dispensing several million US$ worth of grants a year.
You won't, I expect, get one by applying directly. We're talking Chinese and
friends of friends of relatives, etc. But if you were at a career stage where
it made sense to go to Taiwan to study Chinese and/or (better yet) do an
MA in anthro at a place like National Taiwan University, you could start
making the personal connections you'd need. I like this possibility at lot
because of the delightful irony of the scholars who were "poor cousins" back
when I was doing fieldwork now being in a position to offer support to
people from the "developed" world.

I should note that during the past several years, CCK has been putting a lot
of money into research on rural health care systems that focuses specifically
on the relationship between shamanism, Chinese and Western medicine and why
people choose one or the other.

John McCreery