Since the beginning of the 21st century, processes of globalisation have been influencing the world through technological innovations, for example in communications, transport and finance, leading to unprecedented real and virtual mobility and increasing connectivity and interdependence. Urbanisation processes and ecological changes are also leading to shifts in health risks and health policy priorities at different levels.
Many of these health risks and the vulnerabilities associated with these changes are higher in regions with rapid population growth, changing lived realities, rapid social change, ecological change, slow economic growth and lopsided governance. This results in complex and interrelated demographic, epidemiological and social transitions and, at the same time, transformations.
The Medical Anthropology Research Group (MARG) focuses, among other things, on health and well-being at global, national and local levels, with a critical eye on health inequalities in diverse political, economic and ecological contexts. MARG is also concerned with the role of biomedicine, for example as a framing epistemology when working with public health experts, but also as one of many (medical) realities that is investigated through detailed ethnographic research in different local contexts with an open (and often comparative) empirical view. Especially in the field of health and care, diverse social networks and social institutions play a crucial role in the preservation and transmission of knowledge and experience. These resources also help to live with rapid change and increasing uncertainty and to deal with it in a more resilient way, and they also create diversity and flexibility in age and gender attributions. Consequently, social resilience and empowerment, vulnerability in terms of equity and equality, as well as generations, gender, mobility and sustainability are also important health-related topics of the Medical Anthropology Research Group (MARG).
The interfaculty research group MARG at the University of Basel establishes a link between the Department of Social Sciences (in particular the Institute of Social Anthropology), the Center for African Studies (ZASB), the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH; in particular its Department of Epidemiology and Public Health) and the Institute of Nursing Science (INS).
Medical Anthropology Research Group (MARG)
The Medical Anthropology Research Group (MARG) is an interfaculty research group that brings together researchers from the Department of Social Sciences (in particular the Institute of Social Anthropology) and the Centre for African Studies (ZASB) and researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Swiss TPH) and of the Institute of Nursing Science (INS). In doing so, MARG engages with current debates in the field of medical anthropology with reference to general social anthropology and public health (see Public Health and Nursing Science). MARG-supported fieldwork focuses on the daily practices of health (especially of young people and older people), with a particular interest in body images, intergenerational and transnational care, migration, resilience and justice, and human-animal relations and sustainability of health concepts.
Advanced Master's students, doctoral students and post-doctoral students at the Institute of Social Anthropology, the ZASB, the Swiss TPH and the INS and related fields who pursue a scientific orientation towards health can become members of the research group. The group also includes external researchers at postdoctoral level, including MARG alumnae/i. Guests working in the field of Medical Anthropology are always invited to present their current research.
The MARG meets especially during the semester for lectures and holds regular research seminars to discuss scientific publications, current research activities and theses of its members.
The current head of the MARG is PD Dr. Piet van Eeuwijk.