Anthropology and Epidemiology: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Health and Disease

edited by Craig R. James, Ron Stall, and Sandra M. Gifford. xix + 349 pages, illustrated. D. Reidel Publishing Company, P.O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands. 1986. $69.00

Wilbur G. Downs 10 Halstead Lane, Branford, Connecticut 06405

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Both anthropology and medical epidemiology are ancient disciplines, only within modern times graced by the application of definitive names. Carefully worded definitions do not entirely cover the respective territories. Ecology, to a considerable degree, embraces both. The editors present a strong case for the integration of medical anthropology and medical epidemiology (with ecology inferred).

The volume has four sections: I. A series of essays that examine the logic and historical underpinnings of interdisciplinary collaboration; II. Three case studies of anthropological contributions to the study of infectious diseases; III. Two essays on noninfectious disease problems, cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer; and IV. Applicability of social science models in three classes of mental health problems: suicide, alcoholism, and hyperactivity in children.

In Section I, Frederick L. Dunn (Univ. California, San Francisco) and Craig R. James (Univ. Colorado) have an excellent introductory essay, defining disciplines and terms, and indicating interactions between the two fields.