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JC_Lists_2012

JC_Lists_2012

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JenniferCarroll
Reading Lists for general exams – last updated 6/1/12Table of ContentsPost-Socialism ................................................................................................................................ 2
 
Critical Medical Anthropology .................................................................................................... 8
 
Addiction and Drug Use ............................................................................................................. 11
 
Meaning and Healing / Meaning in Healing ............................................................................. 15
 
 
JenniferCarroll
Post-Socialism
Here, I am focusing on the anthropology of post-Soviet regions in Eastern Europe. This includesresearch, ethnographic and otherwise, on current cultural constructs, socio-political realities, andthe numerous processes of change, innovation, and adaptation that have resulted from the social, political, and economic changes that have been seen in this region over the last several decades.This list finds its inspiration in two somewhat philosophical observations about the post-Sovietsphere and the nature of post-socialist studies. The first is Katherine Verdery’s observation that acritical exploration of the new social realities (and, also, medical realities) in the post-Sovietsphere “requires a theoretically grounded understanding of the system that has crumbled and anethnographic sensitivity to the particulars of what is emerging form its ruins” (1996: 10). Shesimplified this mantra in the title of her book (ibid.), which calls for a deeper exploration of whatsocialism was and what comes (or came or is coming) next. To this end, I have included someworks here that provide some sort of footing for establishing what Soviet socialism
was
in asense that is meaningful for my project. Scholarship on the Soviet Union produced by Westernacademics is not rare, but neither is it terribly common. I have found a few representativesamples of research on Soviet life and society that are relevant to include here. The first is Mark Field’s 1967 book, which explores the Soviet medical system in detail. Second is Trisha Starks’
The Body Soviet 
(2008), an historical perspective on Soviet policies and propaganda regarding public health, personal health, and personal hygiene. Lastly, I have included two short pieces,one by Janet Hyer (1996) on the management of reproduction among the Soviet female labor force and another by Teresa Polowy (1995) who explored tropes of drinking and alcoholism inRussian literature beginning in the 1960s, in order to provide a more nuanced view of theintersections of gender, bio-power, and substance use during the late Soviet period.Still following Verdery’s lead, I have included a number of texts that present Post-Sovietsocieties ‘in transition’, focusing on the simultaneous reordering of culture and restructuring of society that is deemed unique to this part of the world. To put it another way, I see these textsexploring the ways in which Soviet legacies remain manifest in the minds of individuals, despitethe ever growing disconnect between those historical systems of meaning and current social andeconomic realities. Jennifer Patico’s book (2008) is a key example. She writes about socialrelationships in Moscow that have been shaken by the devaluation of informal black market.Social networks based on sharing and gifting became disoriented and confused once those giftingand under-the-table exchange practices became obsolete. Verdery’s
The Political Lives of Dead  Bodies
(1999) offers an interesting look at how physical remains become signifiers of cultural,religious, and geographic identity, especially at times when those ties to land, liberty, or culturallegitimacy are challenged. Amy Ninetto’s ethnography of a scientific research facility (2005)argues that scientific ventures in Russia, which were transformed into joint state-private venturesunder Soviet rule, have been restructured post-socialism into an awkward arrangement thatactually strengthens government’s ties to knowledge production. Oksana Kis (2005), AdrianaPetryna (2002), Sarah Phillips (2008), and Alena Ledeneva (2006) all offer examples of  problematic identities that exist in post-socialism as contested, conflicted, or claimed byindividuals for themselves in order to promote their legitimacy as enfranchised citizens and thelegitimacy of their claims on the state and their peers. In my estimation, all of the texts here thatfall into this category explore how “pre-transition” cultural legacies (those tied to identity and the
 
JenniferCarroll
maintenance of social networks, in particular) are bent, over-extended, or re-cast in order tomaintain their purchase in a different socio-political environment.The second observation that is motivating this bibliography is one that I have been graduallycoming to throughout my academic studies and fieldwork (and travels) in Eastern Europe: thatdiscussions of post-socialism that explore the creative manipulation of Soviet social structuresonly tell half of the story. Likewise, I have included texts that begin to diverge from transition-focused narratives by highlighting ways in which the dominant global forces (i.e. influences thathave been flooding into Eastern Europe as the Soviet political structure receded) contribute tomeaning-making via the
re-rendering of paradigms
in order to provide coherency and agencythat complements pre-existing social forms and structures—rather than the other way around.Several of these texts address Ukrainian and Russian responses (acceptance, rejection, or re-formulation, as the case may be) to ‘Western’ feminist discourses: primarily Zhurzhenko (2001,2004), Zherebkina (2001) Hrycak (2005, 2006, 2007), and Pavlychko (1996). Other texts focuson the re-conceptualization of bio-medical categories in the post-Soviet sphere—a reality muchdifferent than that anticipated by Clark and Murdoch (1997)
1
, who claim that scientificdiscourses “must reshape locales in a fashion which allows these artifacts to ‘work.’…It remakesthe world in its own image…” (41). Rather, the work of coordinating scientific and medicaldiscourses with local cultures is performed by actors within the local culture so as to reachspecific social, political, or personal ends. For example, Jack Friedman (2009) shows doctors inRomania bending diagnostic categories in mental health clinics so that their medical services canstand in as ad hoc social services for deserving patients in need. Jill Owczarzak (2009) highlightshow HIV-prevention messages common in North America were co-opted in Poland in order to promote a moralized notion of Polish identity. Erin Koch (2008) reveals how TB status isengaged by local prisoners for personal gain and how medical workers have altered their  perceptions of standardized medical testing procedures and outcomes in order to accommodatethese patterns of behavior.Overall, these readings are designed to provide me with a respectable foundation in (1) thehistorical realities of Soviet society (particularly with respect to medicine and substance use), (2)contemporary life strategies in which those legacies have been engaged, manipulated, andchanged, (3) the ways in which cultural artifacts from elsewhere in the world (e.g. feminism) aremanipulated and rendered meaningful within local contexts, and, finally, (4) the lived-experienceof post-socialism amid these many processes—what Alexandra Hrycak has called “the post-Soviet habitus”.Bazylevych, Maryna
2011. Vaccination Campaigns in Post Socialist Ukraine: Health Care ProvidersNavigating Uncertainty. MAQ 25(4): 436-456.
2009. “Who is Responsible for Our Health? Changing Concepts of State and theIndividual in Post-Soviet Ukraine.”
 Anthropology of East Europe Review
27(1): 65-75.

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Clark, Judy and James Murdock. 1997. Local Knowledge and the Precarious Extension of Scientific Networks: A Reflection on Three Case Studies.
Sociologia Ruralis
37(1): 38-60.

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