Archive for the ‘pOstEd WeEkLY’ Category

Taking a Note in Formatting.

Posted: December 4, 2012 in pOstEd WeEkLY

Roslyn Solomon’s article is actually really useful, not only for context, but also as a tool for writing mechanisms. I enjoyed Solomon’s project proposal and thoroughly appreciate her core beliefs which shine through in her work. She states in the beginning of her piece, Global goes local:

“I am an attorney who, through a series of volunteer activities, became exposed to international human rights law, particularly with regard to the right to health. I was drawn to human rights concepts because of their recognition of the mutually sustaining relationship between the individual and the community. Human rights ideas also appealed to me because of their practicality.”

In relating Global goes local to my current project, as those who may follow this blog may also be in the same class, this will be the last blog post on a reading for Global Health and Human Rights. In formatting my own Final Paper for GH&HR I am going to utilize her writing structure to revamp the skeleton of my final product.

She begins with a simplistic Introduction, but then she utilized a really brief but detailed description of the Background of the Geography and Demograpy. Next, she describes the Project with a sectionalized body of Concrete Steps, Getting started, and my favorite of her sections: Translating human rights standards into local program structures. Here she discusses and defines the terms in translating human rights standards to organizations.

Need some direction on formatting in your own papers?: visit the OWL.

The greatest part, I feel, of Solomon’s work isn’t essentially what it stands for, but the steps and process she followed to create a true and honest description of what it takes to formulate a legitimate proposal – this structure could essentially be applied across the board. It is most definitely something I will be referencing when reformatting my final paper.

Solomon, R. 2009. “Global Goes Local: Integrating human rights principles into a county health care reform project” Health and Human Rights. 11.1


Weapons of healing.

Posted: November 28, 2012 in pOstEd WeEkLY

This blog post will be about my reaction to Meghan Cox Gurdon’s article in the Wall Street Journal, Darkness Too Visible. And I’d like to rip it apart. But, I’ve taken a moment to gather my thoughts and here’s what I’ve got…

My reason for minor outrage is mainly due to Amy Freeman, a 46 year old mother of three, who had been interviewed by Gurdon about her experience and thoughts behind a recent visit to the young-adult section of Barnes & Noble. Basically she ranted about how “darkness” is all over and how violence is prevalent in books today and so on. You’ve heard this before, rings close to ‘Burn the Harry Potter books because it’s witchcraft’ yelled by do-gooder christian parents.


To each is own, I say. If your 14 year old kid relates to a self-mutilating 14 year old character living on the streets of New York selling drugs to pay for food…perhaps it is a heavy dose of reality for a 14 year old, but your kid is not alone in whatever that “darkness” is that they are relating to in the world that they’ve discovered. If you don’t want your young Adult to be exposed to gripping reality which is often dark, then deny them, but no one has the right to deny someone else’s young adult from reading and discovering that world for themselves. Banning books? It almost sounds more like the dark ages then banning darkness of novels.

Now, I am no parent, so I cannot say what I would and wouldn’t want my 12-18 year old to read. But I was an adolescent not too long ago and my parents NEVER told me I could not read a book. That would have been ridiculous. My mother always made sure I had a library card and we would each find our place in the Library for hours. She knew it was a place of safety and knowledge. Though Barnes & Noble is not a Library, it too is a place of knowledge both intellectual and social.

I believe that if a child is reading, not for school, but for pleasure then perhaps take a step. Really see that they have found something that they enjoy, relate to, and can use as a weapon for healing. More specifically, young adults or teens do not always want to confide in their parents or adults (or even peers) about how they feel because often they cannot even identify what they are feeling. Suicide, self-mutilation, eating disorders and much more are all prevalent in the young adult age group. “Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among those 5-14 years old.” Don’t believe me?

books allow us to set our minds free to roam another world.

When I was 15 I was in a very dark place and the only thing that I could relate to was my characters in novels where they were feeling pain. Some felt more pain than others, but nonetheless I was not alone. We all, at every age, experience that feeling of being Other.

In my last blog post I discussed Sherman Alexie’s book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian where he highlights poverty, othering, isolation, depression, alcoholism, physical abuse, and even bulimia. But his novel is not dark, it is simply, honest. There is nothing light about being 15 besides that you don’t have a mortgage or children to be responsible for. Many teens face enormous pressure from nearly every aspect of their lives: they are in a transitional period, are getting to find who they are, they’re making new friends, losing friends, finding love and losing love, struggling with self image, pressure within the academic sphere, and so on. It is not a simple task to grow up in our society in this generation, and books…they can be a healthy escape to a place where teens feel safe, understood, and maybe even feel less alone.

As Sherman Alexie stated:

“There are millions of teens who read because they are sad and lonely and enraged. They read because they live in an often-terrible world. They read because they believe, despite the callow protestations of certain adults, that books-especially the dark and dangerous ones-will save them….I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life.”

Interested? clicky click.

Too much reality?

Posted: November 27, 2012 in pOstEd WeEkLY

This week we are reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, interested? Let me tell you, I feel really connected to this novel, not because I live on a Reservation or am even Indian, but the writing is undeniably lush. Alexie takes us on a journey through his everyday thoughts, experiences, mishaps, and sorrows and it’s absolutely great! I suppose I should really only discuss up to where I was supposed to read (page 100 or so)….even though I couldn’t put the novel down and am almost done :/

Spokane gathering, Spokane Indian Reservation, Washington, ca. 1898

In regards to relating this novel to Global Health and Human Rights, there’s definitely much more of a Human Rights tie with Alexie and the reservation lifestyle. The main example, if not the most dominating narrative, is that of poverty in the Wellpinit area. Alexie give a multitude of examples ranging from a comparison between his physical self and symbolism of his attire to that of the wealthier White young adults of Reardan — the High School in which he makes the choice to transfer –to the lack of gas money his parents have resulting in him walking over 20 miles to or from school. Below are some excerpts to overshadow the narrative of poverty:

“You start believing that you’re poor because you’re stupid and ugly. And then you start believing that you’re stupid and ugly because you’re Indian. And because you’re Indian you start believing you’re destined to be poor.” (p13)

“Yep, so that means I was staring at a geometry book that was at least thirty years older than I was [after discovering his mother’s name in his text book]…My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dan books our parents studied from.” (p31)

click on Sherman to read his interview with Time Mag.

Although there are many repeating narratives in Alexie’s novel, such as Addiction and First World Problems (alcoholism, bolemia, etc), inefficiency in enforcement of the Law against abuse and DWI, and he even touches upon the murder of culture when his Geometry teacher confides in him (a 14 year old boy) that he and others were hired to Kill Indians, something along ‘kill the Indian to save the child’.

In my mind, the most evident anthropological concept read over and over in Alexie’s work is that of Othering, making him the Other when he is on the Rez. because of his physical appearance. Him becoming Other once he attends Reardan, both a social outcast by White students but also hated by kids on the Rez. — even adults who beat him for being a traitor in attending a White school. The concept of Othering is seen in nearly every single culture, within social cliques, and most of all social structure. There is even a reminiscent quality of exoticism of the Native Americans in which people are mesmerized and stunned by the rich cultural heritage that many tribes have to offer.

Interested? Journal of Globalization and Development:  Impact of Political Reservations in West Bengal Local Governments on Anti-Poverty Targeting


Raising the Stakes

Posted: November 20, 2012 in pOstEd WeEkLY

The following paragraph is what I feel summarizes the article by Andreass Kalofonos on the paradox of AIDS treatment interventions in Mozambique:

“The availability of free, effective AIDS treatment changed the stake of the HIV
diagnosis. The rapid expansion of ART and the decline in AIDS mortality represents
an impressive achievement given the crippled public sector and pervasive poverty.
To undergo ART, individuals had to test for HIV, enroll for care at a clinic, undergo
CD4 testing, start ART, remain adherent to ARVs, and return for monthly refills,
an exhaustive process with considerable attrition (Ware et al. 2009; Høg 2008;
Kalofonos 2008; Micek et al. 2009; Ware et al. 2009). While AIDS remained a
feared disease, there was a growing awareness of the benefits associated with being
HIV-positive—not only free treatment but also food aid.”

Kalofonos, Andreas I. (2008) “All I Eat Is ARVs”: The Paradox of AIDS Treatment Interventions in Central Mozambique. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. Vol. 24, Issue 3, pp. 363–380

For more information in relation to my topic on AIDS in the Philippines: National HIV/STI Prevention Program

Vaccination = Sterilization

Posted: November 15, 2012 in pOstEd WeEkLY

In Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg‘s work on the history of vaccination misconceptions in Cameroon she utilizes as part of her major argument a specific situation in 1990 of girls hiding and jumping out of windows for fear of being made sterile. This misconception was derived from a long history of rumors and social stigma surrounding the health and medical sphere.

Much like any region there are always common misconceptions that, surprisingly, spread like wild-fire just by media and word of mouth. Living in the United States our obesity rates have produced massive and ridiculous amounts of diet plans–most of which are completely reliant on misconception. It is impossible to watch the nightly news without finding out something else that you were told to eat last week for your bones is now correlated with cancer in joints.

But the most startling point is that we, as humans and cross-culturally, tend to trust one another even if evidence is not evident.  We know that Doctor’s wear white lab coats from watching TV shows and seeing ads, we know they are highly educated and generally invested much of their time, money, and resources into their education…so when we see a good looking clean man in a white lab coat with a pen in his hand and perhaps a stylish pair of reading glasses it is common misconception to listen up to what he has to say…after all, he’s a doctor, right?

Have time? check out the US’ relationship with Cameroon.

Point being made, we see this misconception surrounding health care among adolescents in the Philippines who are becoming sexually active and their complete misconception for their chances of contracting AIDS. Generally, the misconception is that AIDS/HIV is uncommon, or that youth are less likely to have it as they are assumed to have less sexual partners than that of someone older with let’s say 30 years of experiences. This is completely inaccurate but very popular.

Click the condoms to find out more on the HIV epidemic in the Philippines.

As stated within another WordPress Bloggers post in regards to the misconceptions of AIDS/HIV among youth in the Philippines:

“Healthcare authorities attempt to correct these misconceptions by saying that (a) one cannot get HIV by kissing a person with HIV or being kissed in parts of the body, (b) a person with HIV should not be avoided or discriminated against because the disease is not contagious, and (c) HIV knows no age, educational background, social standing or gender of a person.”

Feldman-Savelsberg, Pamela. (2000) “Sterilizing Vaccines or the Politics of the Womb: Retrospective Study of a Rumor in Cameroon.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly. Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 159–179, June 2000

Bioethics & Human Rights.

Posted: November 13, 2012 in pOstEd WeEkLY

“Beyond the administrative borders erected around catchment areas or states or nations, millions die – not from too much  are or inappropriate care but rather from no care at all.”

“When the end of life comes early – from death in childbirth, say, or from tuberculosis or infantile diarrhea – the scandal is immeasurably greater, but these tragedies meet with far too little discussion in the medical and bioethics literature.”

Above are two quotes I chose from Paul Farmer and Nicole Campos’ work on New Malaise: Bioethics and Human Rights. First, lets ask the simple question, what is bioethics? Many of us are familiar with the term ethics, but bioethics? Simply put,  bioethics is the ethics of medical and biological research. Using such a term we are able to tie into the focus of the Philippines with research on poverty and health problems faced by women and children within the biomedical sphere.

In previous posts I have discussed water rights in the Philippines as well as Poverty, AIDS/HIV, and health care for women.  I would like to use this post to begin entertaining a new approach to my overarching topic of Female Sex Workers and Health in the Philippines.

In one of the first readings/posts, Paul Farmer introduces the ground breaking and anthropologically purposeful term Structural Violence. His meaning behind structural violence is on an individualistic level looking at and interpreting structural causes of indirect violence through war, poverty, health, etc. Utilizing the bioethical approach to seep into the overall structural violence against FSW a more medical means can be understood in assessing the overall social structure encompassing FSW and the high rates of AIDS/HIV in the Philippines.

Farmer, Paul and Nicole Gastineau Campos. 2004. “New Malaise: Bioethics and Human Rights in the Global Era.” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Vol 32.2, pp 243–251

Shelter in a shanty?

Posted: November 5, 2012 in pOstEd WeEkLY

“MANILA, Philippines—Deadly floods that have swamped nearly all of the Philippine capital are less a natural disaster and more the result of poor planning, lax enforcement and political self-interest, experts say.”-Mynardo Macaraig, NewsInfo

In a highly populated city such as Manila, Philippines, it is expected that there be segregation among differing social and socioeconomic developments—some being inner-city dwellings, established homes in neighborhoods, and some residents of Manila live in actual boxes along the river. As we often see in situations where entire populations are devastated by natural, or man-made, disasters there are severe injuries, emotional turmoil, and loss of home and often loved ones. Looking to August 2012 the Philippines was hit with a powerful typhoon absolutely devastating much of surrounding river area in Manila as well as other locations along the river line.


It is apparent, however, that areas often effected by natural disasters (earthquake, flood, typhoon, etc) either rebound due to already strong underlying structure, or crumble and struggle for years to re-build not just physical structure but also socioeconomic and familial structure.

 Eric Klinenberg, a Professor of Sociology and the Director of Graduate Studies at the University of California in Berkeley, stated:

 Check out…the EndPoverty 2015 Millennium Campaign Resources: excellent for reading and resources

“Framework suggests a novel approach for using environmental events as revealers of social conditions that are less visible but nonetheless present in everyday life. The model brings to the center three social conditions and processes that are largely peripheral to or absent from both popular and scientific analyses of disasters…” (242).

 Klinenberg breaks down his model, as previously stated, into three conditions—social morphology and political economy of vulnerability to determine damage; role of the state in determining vulnerability; and how the media and political officials decide to cover the issue

 Through his approach and utilizing his model of social conditions we can use a narrower—perhaps additionally objective—scope in viewing the disaster of the 2012 typhoon causing mass devastation in the Philippines. First we see the physical damage caused: the rushing floods of contaminated water rising up to the necks of many survivors, children collected on rafts avoiding drowning in the murky waters, shanties flattened by the powerful floods and wind, children abandoned and hugging anything concrete to avoid be washed away, etc. Second, we see only pictures of small life rafts being guided through the rising water by select few rescue crews. Lastly, the flood is being slathered across a wide range of media from social blogs, news stations, even as far as political campaigns.

 The main point is to take note of the mass devastation caused by “unavoidable” and yet completely avoidable disaster on those who are already suffering from poverty and poor living conditions. It is not those who are above the line of poverty that we see wading through filthy water holding the few belongings they have left above their heads, children hanging on their hips or clinging to small inflatable rafts next to them—we see those who have survived.


Klinenberg, Eric. Denaturalizing Disaster: A social autopsy of the 1995 Chicago Heat Wave. Theory and Society 28: 239-295, 1999.