From Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil by the renowned anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes.

    "Specific forms of consciousness may be called 'Ideological' whenever they are invoked to sustain, legitimate or stabilize particular institutions or social practices."

I first read this book in undergrad, it was my first dip into the waters of Medical Anthropology, which is the radical notion that there are factors other than disease causing agents that have a massive impact on peoples health and wellness. How they understand 'health' and 'disease.' How they relate to life and death. What they choose to attribute to disease or divine judgement or just pure bad luck. Who they go to for aid when they are unwell.

This book sparked an understanding within me that there is an emerging institutional interest in understanding sick people, not just in understanding sickness itself. It allowed me to conceptualize a world where I could have a meaningful impact in the lives and measurable outcomes of patients without having to put on the white coat and stethoscope, which I had known was not my path. This quote in particular stood out to me when I first read it, and stands out to me now because it illustrates that most of what constitutes our 'reality' is consensus.

Pinging everybody who participated in the last one

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I just want to add that, historically, this thread was looking for quotations from something you had been reading recently. It's not "favourite quotes" but more an introduction to your current and immediate inner life via your reading. I just looked back at the #quotesporn tag and it is notable in its spontaneously arising volunteer moderators.

posted by OftenBen: 438 days ago