In Anthropology in the Making, Laurent Vidal takes the reader into the world of research in the fields of health and development, providing a fresh and provocative perspective on the practice of anthropology. This volume investigates the “science of otherness” across four multi-disciplinary research projects in Africa, examining the practices of health workers, the behaviors of patients, and the organization and management of health systems struggling with AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Balancing epistemological considerations with the practical concerns thrown up by real-life situations, Vidal explores the researcher’s choices - of method, objective, and terrain.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Gift, the Struggle and the Vow Part I: All Together Now?: Needs and Constraints in the Interdisciplinary Encounter 1. A Project Emerges 2. Progress Along a Slippery Slope Part II: Anthropology Face-to-Face with Health Actors 3. Negotiating the Place of Anthropology 4. From Imagined Research to Real Intervention Part III: Exposition 5. The Feedback Meeting as Research Terrain 6. New Anthropological Contexts 7. Which Anthropology, and for What Purpose?. Conclusion: Intersections and Embeddings.
Laurent Vidal is an anthropologist at France’s Institute of Development Research (IRD), where he is a former director of the Department of Social Sciences. A specialist in health issues in Africa, his work over the past two decades has melded research on development questions in the field of health with critical analysis of the practice of research itself.