A Failure of Treatment

Paperback | January 15, 2000

byGilbert Lewis

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A serious illness may bring other events into focus. This book is about the circumstances surrounding an illness which struck a man in middle life, its impact on him and on the people of his West Sepik village. It records both failure and continuing belief the failure of local treatments,Western medicine, and of a great communal effort to bring a spirit to heal him. The issues of distress, isolation in illness, and the hope of relief are universal ones, but in this setting in New Guinea they have to be placed in a framework of tentative explanations because of the harsh materialconditions. To follow the course of this man's illness is to see how illness can reshape events and test social ties. The book unfolds a social drama, as it traces people's anxieties, the pressure upon them to take immediate action to try to remedy the situation, and their growing realization thatthey have failed.Through the text runs the problem of hope and belief in healing.

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A serious illness may bring other events into focus. This book is about the circumstances surrounding an illness which struck a man in middle life, its impact on him and on the people of his West Sepik village. It records both failure and continuing belief the failure of local treatments,Western medicine, and of a great communal effor...

Gilbert Lewis is at Cambridge University.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:January 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198234090

ISBN - 13:9780198234098

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Table of Contents

The ethnography of an illnessArrivalThe people in a hamlet: WataluPaths and gardensA question of marriage and a fallThe hunting in July and another fallAt the health centreThe perception of his illnessThe opening of MalyiContrasts of pace: acute and chronicImagery without influenceFailure yet beliefLosing hopeThe death of DauwarasThe period of mourningAftermath