The Country of the Ill

David B. Morris

in Illness and Culture in the Postmodern Age

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780520208698
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926240 | DOI:
The Country of the Ill

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  • Medical Anthropology


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Illness is our common fate. The country of the ill, no matter how widely shared its terrain, is not a universal realm located outside the influence of space and time. Indeed, the country of the ill assumes the distinctive features of whatever nation or social group inhabits it. It is a slippery place in which the condition depends not only on biological processes but also on gender, race, and income. Black patients in the United States, for example, get measurably worse care than white patients—including care as specific as standard procedures for heart disease and chest pain. The vast social changes during the last fifty years of the twentieth century—the period usually designated postmodern—have in effect reshaped the experience of illness.

Keywords: United States; black patients; illness; medical care

Chapter.  9793 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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