Sunday, January 27

One of the things I love about blogging on Friday and Sunday is that it helps me keep my rhythm. Week after week, the project stops being a huge, overwhelming shadow looming over me, and turns into small tasks. And this week, after spending two weeks devoting my heart and mind to the article (which, much to my chagrin, is not quite done yet –but is in almost complete shape), I get to shift my focus back to this chapter. Tomorrow will be refreshing –I love the “book research” part of ethnographic writing, especially when the ethnography leads you to an unexpected place, a place you haven’t read everything on.

I didn’t realize that neoliberalism was part of this book when I was doing ethnographic research at HPY (my field site). I thought that the connections between health concepts that I was pursuing were simply (ha! Simply…) intersubjective –a “meeting of ontologies” (Wender 2008), so to speak. What I didn’t realize before I started fieldwork was the pervasiveness of neoliberalism within what I had previously thought was a socialized medical system. So, this week, I’ll be reading up on it. One of the things on my mind is something that barely seemed relevant six months ago is the prevalence of low-cost generic drug pharmacies offering extremely inexpensive or even free medical consultations and the way in which these have resulted in a democratization of medical care –in the private sector. Meantime, in a parallel fashion, the creation of Seguro Popular opened up the public medical care system. This is anthropology just the way I like it –layer upon complex layer of political economy and intersubjective encounters set in the unstable terrain of the medicalized mind…

 

I’ll stop before I get too far ahead of myself. I’ve re-written my schedule, I’m making a to-do list, and I’m ready to take a plunge.

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