Prairie Voices: Process Anthropology in Family Medicine


This book is about anthropology as a journey of mutual understanding of increasingly greater breadth and depth. It is about allowing oneself to be inspired by those whom one is studying, teaching, treating, or counseling; how that inspiration leads to a poem or story that is shared with them; and how that personal experience becomes the basis for a more grounded relationship, deeper self-knowledge, and ultimately the accomplishment of one's goals in applied anthropology. This approach does not negate other ways of knowing--participant observation, open-ended interviews, naturalistic observation, focus groups, or surveys--but complements and extends them and the kind of cultural data they elicit. It is about how another people's world (the North American Great Plains, in this case) comes alive to an observer, therapist, or consultant. Written by a prominent medical and psychoanalytic anthropologist, this work is a daring experiment in communication. It outlines an alternative for researchers and writers that,can allow one individual to tune in to another individual across a cultural or epistemological boundary. It is a new step in the empathic process, one that affects and transforms the practitioner as deeply as the client. A must read for those in caring professions.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Lynn Flint
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1996


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