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Ethno-ophthalmology in the Egyptian Delta: A Historical Systems Approach to Ethnomedicine in the Middle East

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Inhorn, Marcia, and Sandra D. Lane. 1988. "Ethno-ophthalmology in the Egyptian Delta: A Historical Systems Approach to Ethnomedicine in the Middle East." Social Science and Medicine, 26(6): 651-657.

Ethnomedical studies of the Middle East may be enriched by a long-term historical perspective, which takes into consideration the complex syncretism, through time, of both literate and nonliterate medical systems in this region, as well as the tumultuous history of conquest and colonialism in the Middle East. In this paper, the authors place the seemingly idiosyncratic, local, ‘ethno-ophthalmological’ practices of one northern Egyptian community, which is afflicted by the blinding eye disease, trachoma, into a broader historico-political context, through examination of the four major literate medical systems of Egypt and the imperialistic forces responsible for their entrenchment.

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