New cartographies of health in a globalizing world
Prof. Ted Schrecker
Anthropology Seminar Room, Dawson Building, Durham University
Thursday 28 November – 13.00 – 15.00
Anthropologists have been distinctively effective in tracing linkages between the macro-scale economic processes conveniently described as globalisation and local destruction of opportunities to lead a healthy life (the social determinants of health). I argue that it is essential to focus on the common origins of many such local destructions in new modalities and power structures of global capitalism, and in doing so to focus on what William Robinson has described as a shift from “territorial” to “social cartographies”. I first describe a number of cross-border “emerging markets” or bidding wars that are relevant to health and its social determinants. I then expand the frame of reference to more basic reorganisations of production and finance, describing ways in which these redraw maps both literal and metaphorical. The concluding section of the paper sets out three propositions about how the social science of health disparities should respond to globalization, and suggests a heuristic device (‘epidemiological worlds’) that connects globalisation and its manifestations with health outcomes and proximal influences on health.
In June 2013, Ted Schrecker moved from Canada to take up his new position at Durham; he remains an adjunct professor of Epidemiology and Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Ted’s academic background is in political science, and he has taught that discipline as well as environmental studies and population health (at the doctoral level) from an interdisciplinary perspective. For the past decade his research has addressed the consequences of transnational economic integration (globalization) for health and health equity; he also has a long-standing interest in issues at the interface of science, ethics, law and public policy. Ted studied at Canada’s Trent University, York University and The University of Western Ontario, and worked for many years as a legislative researcher and public policy consultant before coming to the academic world.