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Journal Article

Radical Remedies: Women, Health, and the Micropolitics of Grassroots Organizing in Mexico

Suzanne D. Schneider
Medical Anthropology Quarterly
New Series, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Sep., 2009), pp. 235-256
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40541916
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Radical Remedies: Women, Health, and the Micropolitics of Grassroots Organizing in Mexico
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Abstract

As states weaken and public health care deteriorates throughout the developing world, new spaces are opening for civil society groups to fill the gaps of declining health systems. In Mexico, popular health groups have responded to health care decline by building community clinics, establishing health promoter training programs, and opening natural medicine pharmacies. Lower- and working-class women are the primary participants in these groups that use a self-help approach to find practical solutions to local health care problems. However, little is known about participants' circumstances, motivations, or the ideals they embrace. Drawing from women's narratives, I explore the "micropolitics" of women's participation in local health groups. I examine their efforts to reclaim control over the health process as a metaphor for claiming control over their lives. Highlighting the "instrumental effects" of participants' medical encounters and healing relationships, this case illuminates some unintended consequences of health care decline.

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