The Pastoral Clinic: A Comparative Analysis

Decent Essays

Julie Livingston and Angela Garcia both provide ethnographies centered around the theme of illumination. In the case of Julie Livingston, Improvising Medicine works to illuminate the growing cancer epidemic in Africa as well as the unique way cancer is handled in situations of improvisation. Angela Garcia also works to illuminate via her ethnographic work, The Pastoral Clinic, by emphasizing the importance of dispossession in treating heroin addiction in the Española Valley and also working to counter common beliefs regarding heroin addiction. In defending these respective arguments, both authors use similar tone and voice; however, the structure of each ethnography is markedly different. Even with some weaknesses being relatively apparent …show more content…

This simplistic voice contributes significantly to educating the reader on the issue of cancer in Africa and was likely used by Livingston as a manner of broadening her reader base beyond fellow Anthropologist. This can also be seen with her use of medical jargon, which was clearly intended for an audience of physicians and world health policy makers who can likely make a difference in providing care for those with cancer outside of wealthy Western society. Similarly, Garcia’s ethnography is written with a simplistic voice that values economy. Garcia, who is hoping to illuminate the importance of the history of dispossession in the Española Valley in treating heroin addiction and also works to counter well established stereotypes of both the pastoral environment and drug addiction within the United States. Garcia like Livingston also relies heavily on anecdotal evidence but also places an emphasis on interviews of those afflicted with heroin addiction. Her simplistic voice therefore, ensures nothing is added nor taken away from the voices of the people whose situation she is attempting to illuminate. This is especially important considering the emphasis Garcia places on …show more content…

Livingston gives her readers mini anecdotes which provide an insight to improvised cancer treatment in Botswana. As such, many of the images she works to conjure with her language are shocking such as the description of humanizing a woman who had recently died by cleaning her body. Even the extensive description of necrotic wounds, the way they look and smell sought to shock the reader into comprehending the rise of cancer in Africa. In class students expressed discontent with the passivity of this work which pointed out the horrors of late stage untreated cancer without providing policy to improve treatment within the region. This demonstrates that Livingston effectively used a shocking tone to help illuminate the growing problem of cancer development

Get Access