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Anthropology and Archaeology

Living Well in Los Duplex

Critical Reflections on Medicalization, Migration and Health Sovereignty

by Anna Waldstein

Forthcoming February 2017

ISBN978-1-5310-0043-1
e-ISBN978-1-53100-396-8

Tags: Anthropology, Ethnographic Studies in Medical Anthropology Series, Medical Anthropology


Thirty years of public health research in the United States suggests that Mexican migrants are healthier than most American citizens. This ethnography of “Los Duplex,” a Mexican migrant neighborhood in Athens, Georgia, shows that the health sovereignty of migrants helps explain why they have better health profiles than American citizens whose lives are more medicalized. While most Americans rely on medical authorities to manage their health through the consumption of pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures, Mexicans cultivate their own holistic healing alternatives as they build communities in the United States. In the strong social networks of Los Duplex, eating traditional Mexican foods, using home remedies, gardening and performing other physical activities, and keeping control over their emotions all help keep migrants healthy. This book, therefore, raises the following question: Are the relatively positive health profiles of Mexican migrants because (rather than in spite) of their limited access to professional medical care? 


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