This week, we are featuring previews of five books received for review at Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. Be sure to check out more articles, reviews, commentaries, and case studies published in the first issue of volume 39 (2015) here: http://link.springer.com/journal/volumesAndIssues/11013
Language, Culture, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology
Zdenek Salzmann, James Stanlaw, and Nobuko Adachi, eds.
This textbook was first published in 1993, and this is the book’s sixth edition. The new incarnation of Language, Culture, and Society features has been revised and expanded with further explanation of the sociocultural context of language. It is also complete with class exercises, discussion questions, and other student resources. The book pays special attention to multilingual and transnational linguistic anthropology.
More details from Westview Press here: http://westviewpress.com/books/language-culture-and-society/
Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam
Tine M. Gammeltoft
This ethnographic account explores the lives of pregnant women in Hanoi, Vietnam whose fetuses were deemed biologically abnormal after ultrasound examinations. Gammeltoft considers the moral dilemmas these women face against the backdrop of their everyday lives and the roles of their family members in reproductive decision-making.
More details from UC Press here: http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520278431
Can’t Catch a Break: Gender, Jail, and the Limits of Personal Responsibility
Susan Starr Sered and Maureen Norton-Hawk
This ethnographic work traces Boston women’s experiences of sexual abuse, violence, inadequate social and therapeutic programs, and the impacts of local and federal policies on incarceration and criminal punishment. The authors consider how these women’s struggles are cast aside as the consequences of “bad choices” and “personal flaws,” and how marginalized women make their way in this “unforgiving world.”
More details from UC Press here: http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520282797
Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion
Ramberg’s account addresses a unique cultural tradition in South India, where girls and sometimes boys are married to a goddess. They have sex with partner outside of traditional marriage and conduct holy rites outside of the goddess’ temple, and complicate the boundaries between what is male and female. The author argues that goddess marriages challenge existing notions of gender, marriage, and religious practice.
More details from Duke UP here: https://www.dukeupress.edu/Given-to-the-Goddess/index-viewby=subject&categoryid=27&sort=newest.html
Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine
This text is a social, political, and cultural history of the rise in generic pharmaceuticals. It tracks the development of modern generic drugs from early 20th century hacks who counterfeited popular medications through the growth in powerful corporations who first produced un-branded drugs. Greene describes generic drugs as a seminal movement towards more equitable, affordable medical care by giving patients quality medicines at a reduced price.
More details from Johns Hopkins UP here: https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/generic