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Dynamics of Health Culture : Urban Slum Community and Behaviour

Thaneswar Bir (Author)
Synopsis The book may be referred as urban medical anthropology. This contains a large volume of knowledge on social sciences aspects of health and health services in the Indian cities. This is a study of health behaviour of the urban slum dwellers of an Indian city in the context of various health institutions available and accessible to them. It highlights how the slum population and their cultural perceptions and meanings of various health problems are persisting in their given socio-economic, political and ecological situations. This book attempts to investigate how slum, residents who are migrated in the cities of the developing countries like India from different cultures, social groups and geographical areas explain the causes of ill-health, the types of treatment they believe in, and to whom they turn if they do get ill. It also looks into how the beliefs and practices relate to biological changes in the human organism, in both health and diseases. The book also highlights, the existence of health institutions is the manifestation of social change including socio-economic and socio-political development. In this light, how the slum dwellers have been in turn, developing a sense of direction in fulfilling their health needs depending upon the accessibility and availability of health care services. Thus, the diffusion of health culture is being perpetuated by some of the determinant factors, as configuration of health institutions constituted both at the local set up and of a wider network of health services. The author has also tried to examine the aspects of ‘health culture’ of slum dwellers with an understanding that slum is a sub-cultural group of the larger socio-cultural milieu. Individuals and households of slum settings practice their health activities with different sets of economic, social, cultural resources. In the face of a new socio-economic and physical environment, the slum populations perpetuate the cultural and institutional health care facilities available and accessible to them and thus, develop a particular heath behavioural pattern for coping with the complex and heterogeneous urban life.
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About the author

Thaneswar Bir

Dr. Thaneswar Bir (b. 1958) is presently teaching the social health sciences to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) students in Community Health Administration at National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi. he did his first MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology from North Bengal University and second MA in Health Management, Planning and Policy from Nuffield Institute for Health, University of Leeds (UK). He did his M.Phil and Ph.D. in Social Medicine and Community Health from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. After becoming a faculty member of the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, he conducted a study on 'health behavior' of the people dwelling in the urban slums of Gwalior city' and a study on 'danger of extinction to Khaiwar Tribe in Harrai village of Sidhi District (MP)'. He was actively involved in some important research projects like; 'willingness and economic capacity to pay for health care services', study of 'sustainability in area projects in Delhi and Orissa States’ and the study on ‘selective versus comprehensive features of primary health care implementation in a selected state in India’. He published a number of articles in indexed journals and presented papers in national and international seminar/conferences on different issues of health and health care delivery systems in India. In collaboration with the foreign experts from the universities of the U.K. and Thailand he conducted a number of training workshops on ‘Health policy research’ and ‘health economics’. Dr. Bir has several articles in the filed of health service development in India and a book in his credit.

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Bibliographic information

Title Dynamics of Health Culture : Urban Slum Community and Behaviour
Author Thaneswar Bir
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st. Ed.
Publisher Rajat Publications
Language: English
isbn 8178800160
length vii+349p.