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AfflictionHealth, Disease, Poverty$
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Veena Das

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823261802

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823261802.001.0001

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Thoughts for the Day after Tomorrow

(p.203) Conclusion

Veena Das

Fordham University Press

This book has explored the trajectories of health and disease in the context of poverty by focusing on the experiences of people in low-income neighborhoods in Delhi. It has discussed the clinical encounters between patients and practitioners and has presented the biography of different illnesses in terms of their dispersal over networks of institutions and relationships. It has looked at healers, ranging from practitioners of the occult to those who are certified as licensed practitioners and work in the local medical markets. This concluding chapter considers how we should understand the suspicion against narrations of illness in both literary studies and anthropology. It asks whether we can learn about health and disease in the context of poverty yet also speak to existential concerns about the fragility of everyday life; the place of the patient's experience of his or her illness that gives shape to (or not) to medical knowledge in the clinical encounter; and whether we can speak of the clinical interaction as based on knowledge.

Keywords:   health, disease, poverty, Delhi, patients, illness, healers, occult, everyday life, medical knowledge

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