Joseph Alter

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An overview of health care in America today. An estimated 37 million men, women, and children lack access to affordable health care. As the cost of medical care continues to rise, millions more face the possibility of joining the ranks of the uninsured. These problems must be addressed. But we also need to consider the many benefits that we derive from our(More)
Many scholars have noted that brahmacharya (celibacy) is an important concept in Hindu notions of male identity (cf. Kakar 1981, 1982, 1990; Obeyesekere 1976, 1981; for comparison, see Gilmore 1990). Although the psychological basis of this concept has been studied, there is very little in the literature on the "medical mechanics" of being and becoming a(More)
Because most scholars take it for granted that medicine is concerned with healing and problems of ill health, the way in which various medical systems define good health has not been adequately studied. Moreover, good health as such is usually regarded as a natural, normative state of being even by most medical anthropologists, who otherwise take a(More)
Sex education professionals were surveyed as to their assessment of the most important features in and outcomes of sex education programs. There was remarkable agreement among the experts surveyed. 2 main program goals--reduction in unwanted adolescent pregnancy and facilitation of positive and fulfilling sexuality--were considered significant,(More)
Managed care is a term that is unfamiliar to and misunderstood by many Americans. Nevertheless, as health care purchasers in the public and private sectors seek to buy affordable, quality health care, they are turning in greater numbers to various managed care plans. HMOs and insurers are adopting innovative methods with which to improve care of patients(More)
In this article I focus on the relationship between concepts of self and health in modern North India. Drawing on field research in a popular yoga society, I argue that yoga therapy, as practiced by the Bharatiya Yog Sansthan of Delhi, provides a reconceptualization of what can be meant by public health. Using studies that challenge both the essentialist(More)
In 1963 Hakim Mohammed Said took a Pakistani delegation from the Society for the Promotion of Eastern Medicine on a monthlong trip to China to meet with and learn from practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This essay focuses on Said's interpretation of the history of medicine in Asia, which was inspired by his trip and informed by a broad, global(More)
In this paper, we describe how we used digital media tools to engage at-risk students in the creative process. Through allowing these students to make their own, "Where I Come From..." mini-video poems, they were given the chance to learn how to use digital media tools to express the meaning of their lives. And in some cases, the students evolved their(More)