“Eating Drugs is a meticulous account of medical pluralism in India today. Ecks convincingly demonstrates how, in West Bengal, medical problems will necessarily be plural given the sway of humoral, ayurvedic, homeopathic, and allopathic forms of reasoning.”
“[…] Eating Drugs stands as a critical addition to work on pharmaceuticalization and vernacularization of psychosomatic therapies in South Asia.”
"In Stephan Ecks' poignant ethnography, he illuminates the relationship between digestive health and mental health in Calcutta, paying particular attention to the contributions this relationship has made to a pharmaceuticalized India."
—Erica Rockhold , Science, Medicine, and Anthropology
"A micro-analysis of medical culture change . . . . A significant, difficult-to-achieve advancement."
—Kalman Applbaum, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"Provides an enthralling account of the depth of cultural forces that shape the subjective experience of mental illness and contemporary psychiatric practice. A powerful contribution to the anthropology of pharmaceuticals, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in culture, science, and technology, and the startling transformations of bodily experience in the 21st century."
—Janis H. Jenkins, editor of Pharmaceutical Self
"A masterful critique of the ever-expanding pharmaceuticalization of mood disorders and self-care in the Global South. Brilliantly argued, the book makes public the cultural calculus of therapeutic markets while also affirming—and this is key—the plural ways in which people can be agents of their health."
—Joao Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University
"Brilliantly traces the circulation of metaphors of affliction from practitioners of psychiatry, Ayurveda, and other systems of medicine to the streets of Calcutta and back, showing how mind-body relations are constructed, mediated, and transformed. Readers who seek to understand the interplay of professional practice and local knowledge in the globalization of psychiatry, the pharmaceutical industry, and cultural configurations of the self will find this book richly rewarding."
—Laurence Kirmayer, James McGill Professor, McGill University
- "Anthropology has much to contribute to our understanding of global pharmaceutical uses as it is sensitive to local culture and emerging health concerns, as well as to the business of selling drugs. This ethnography provides an outstanding example of this exciting new field of research. Its focus on the pharmaceuticalization of mental health by pluralistic health care systems in India provides a compelling case study that illustrates the ways in which explanatory models of medicines and illnesses intersect, and the ways different systems of medicine position themselves and engage in a politics of distinction at the site of the body."
—Mark Nichter, Regents Professor, University of Arizona
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