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Lazy, Crazy, and Disgusting

Stigma and the Undoing of Global Health

Alexandra Brewis and Amber Wutich

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How stigma derails well-intentioned public health efforts, creating suffering and worsening inequalities.

Winner of the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness Book Prize by the British Sociological Association, Carol R. Ember Book Prize by the Society for Anthropological Sciences, Human Biology Association Book Award by the Human Biology Association

Stigma is a dehumanizing process, where shaming and blaming are embedded in our beliefs about who does and does not have value within society. In Lazy, Crazy, and Disgusting, medical anthropologists Alexandra Brewis and Amber Wutich…

How stigma derails well-intentioned public health efforts, creating suffering and worsening inequalities.

Winner of the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness Book Prize by the British Sociological Association, Carol R. Ember Book Prize by the Society for Anthropological Sciences, Human Biology Association Book Award by the Human Biology Association

Stigma is a dehumanizing process, where shaming and blaming are embedded in our beliefs about who does and does not have value within society. In Lazy, Crazy, and Disgusting, medical anthropologists Alexandra Brewis and Amber Wutich explore a darker side of public health: that well-intentioned public health campaigns can create new and damaging stigma, even when they are otherwise successful.

Brewis and Wutich present a novel, synthetic argument about how stigmas act as a massive driver of global disease and suffering, killing or sickening billions every year. They focus on three of the most complex, difficult-to-fix global health efforts: bringing sanitation to all, treating mental illness, and preventing obesity. They explain how and why humans so readily stigmatize, how this derails ongoing public health efforts, and why this process invariably hurts people who are already at risk. They also explore how new stigmas enter global health so easily and consider why destigmatization is so very difficult. Finally, the book offers potential solutions that may be able to prevent, challenge, and fix stigma. Stigma elimination, Brewis and Wutich conclude, must be recognized as a necessary and core component of all global health efforts.

Drawing on the authors' keen observations and decades of fieldwork, Lazy, Crazy, and Disgusting combines a wide array of ethnographic evidence from around the globe to demonstrate conclusively how stigma undermines global health's basic goals to create both health and justice.

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Lazy, Crazy, and Disgusting

Alexandra Brewis and Amber Wutich

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Reviews

Reviews

This engaging book... fills a significant gap in the literature by providing a wake-up call to scholars and practitioners unfamiliar with the topic. And it reminds me that we should all be working together to avoid any unintended consequences of promoting health.

Lazy, Crazy, and Disgusting is an impeccably researched, collaborative, thought-provoking, and boundary-breaking book that should be required reading for anyone interested in public health, medicine, and anthropology.

Brewis and Wutich provide a very useful primer on stigma, which gives a succinct explanation of what stigma is in relation to global health, its different forms, and how stigmatization intersects with other population-level and individual-level effects. As an important topic for students of medicine, global health, and ethics, Lazy, Crazy, and Disgusting would be a useful recommended text.

Brewis and Wutich's book offers a rigorous analysis of how public global health efforts can create and reinforce stigma... This book is recommended for anyone with a general interest in global public health, [and for] undergraduate and postgraduate students from health-related disciplines including medical sociology. This book should be considered by health practitioners, scholars and public health professionals when designing and implementing health-related interventions.

The global perspective and illuminating detail in Lazy, Crazy, and Disgusting bring the social, cultural and structural elements of stigma into focus for the reader... This text is both academic and accessible, making it an engrossing read for those interested in medicine and public health, anthropology and sociology. I would argue it is also incredibly relevant to those who experience, resist or perpetuate stigma: each and every one of us.

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About

Book Details

Release Date
Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
288
ISBN
9781421443256
Illustration Description
35 halftones
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. Disgusting
Chapter 1. Dealing with Defecation
Chapter 2. Dirty Things, Disgusting People
Chapter 3. Dirty and Disempowered
Part II. Lazy
Chapter 4. Fat, Bad, and

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. Disgusting
Chapter 1. Dealing with Defecation
Chapter 2. Dirty Things, Disgusting People
Chapter 3. Dirty and Disempowered
Part II. Lazy
Chapter 4. Fat, Bad, and Everywhere
Chapter 5. The Tyranny of Weight Judgment
Chapter 6. World War O
Part III. Crazy
Chapter 7. Once Crazy, Always Crazy
Chapter 8. The Myth of the Destigmatized Society
Chapter 9. Completely Depressing
Conclusion. What We Can Do
Appendix. Stigma: A Brief Primer
Notes
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Alexandra Brewis, PhD

Alexandra Brewis (TEMPE, AZ) is a President's Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, where Brewis founded the Center for Global Health. Brewis is the author of Obesity: Cultural and Biocultural Perspectives and is a coauthor of Fat in Four Cultures: A Global Ethnography of Weight and Extreme Weight Loss: Life Before and After Bariatric Surgery.
Featured Contributor

Amber Wutich, PhD

Amber Wutich (TEMPE, AZ) is a President's Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, where Wutich now directs the Center for Global Health. Wutich is a coauthor of Analyzing Qualitative Data: Systematic Approaches, Fat in Four Cultures: A Global Ethnography of Weight, and Extreme Weight Loss: Life Before and After Bariatric Surgery.
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