An Anthropological Journey into Well-Being: Insights from by Melania Calestani

By Melania Calestani

This quantity is a special contribution to the exploration of a brand new standpoint within the learn of health, which attempts to beat the quantification bias by means of growing an account of ‘the reliable lifestyles’ in a selected position. instead of numbers, this examine makes a speciality of neighborhood narratives, emphasising the pressing have to contain a much broader diversity of methodological techniques while attractive with healthiness.

The quantity demonstrates in the course of the Bolivian case research the worth of qualitative examine for healthiness experiences. It indicates the capability to combine primary quantitative facts with qualitative results, resembling these rising via ethnography. it's aimed toward lecturers, researchers and scholars in well-being/quality of existence reviews, in addition to audiences within the non-profit, governmental and coverage within the non-profit, governmental and coverage sectors. The ebook presents new views in attaining higher symptoms of health and quality-of-life.

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Nowadays, the category of politicians and the more abstract idea of the national government take the place of the old Master of the hacienda, of the Spanish and of 40 3 Fiesta and Dancing: Community and Religion the aristocrat. A man from Amachuma told me: ‘If we do not go out to protest, we will die of slavery and poverty’, referring to the protests of October 2003 as well as to those organised for the future. It looks like the shadows of the past are still present, although they assume different characteristics.

In addition to them, for example, among young alteños the main motive is to enjoy the dance, to reproduce that cultural richness that seems far away from everyday life, to feel ‘your own identity’, to feel ‘you are Bolivian’ as my informants would tell me, but also to be recognised as a good dancer by your peers and neighbours (Calestani 2012). Commitment to the zone/neighbourhood is felt and constructed through movement (Lazar 2002, p. 129). As Jane Cowan has noted: Participating in the fiesta can provoke that sense of recognition–which though not inevitable is still by no means rare–that one is morally part of, just as one is now corporeally merged with, a larger collectivity, a recognition that as a profoundly visceral knowledge, carries the force of absolute conviction.

The kind of illbeing experienced by Don Mario was not considered normal, containable and predictable, becoming definitely dysfunctional and leading him to extreme action. While I write about this case study, I think about the movie The Secret Nation by the Bolivian director Jorge Sanjines. The main character, Sebastian Mamani, a rural migrant who moves to La Paz and decides to change his name to Maisman to conceal his indigenous origins, is exiled by his rural community after some corruption issues during his mandate as community leader.

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