© 2019 Valentina KHARITONOVA

2019 – № 1(17)

Citation link:

Kharitonova, V.I.  (2019). Health Care and Health Preservation Problems in Modern Research.Medicinskaja antropologija i biojetika [Medical anthropology and bioethics], 1(17).

Keywords: medical anthropology, interdisciplinary symposium, health preservation, health care, biomedical technologies, folk medicine, traditional medicine, traditional medical systems (TMS), medical integration, socio-cultural aspects of health, modern healing, reproductive health, active longevity, anthropology of disabilities, musical therapy

Abstract: The text reviews VII International Interdisciplinary Scientific and Practical Symposium, Medical Anthropology in Modern World: Traditional Studies and New Perspectives. The event took place in Moscow, in June 2019. The review discusses the main themes of the meetings, characterizes the presentations of the symposium, and points out the works that drew the most attention. Emphasized are the problems of health care and health preservation that are crucial for modern anthropology and adjacent fields.

Author info:

Valentina Ivanovna Kharitonova is Doctor of Historical Sciences, Chief Research Fellow and Head of the Center of Medical Anthropology, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology (Moscow)



Medical anthropology has been forming in Russia since the early 2000s, based on medical ethnography that has existed in Soviet and Russian science for a long time. Until now, the Russian researchers working in the field of medical anthropology have been paying more attention to health preservation, while health care problems are usually studied by sociologists of medicine and experts in health care and public health. However, in Russia there is a stable trend towards formation of a multifaceted medical anthropology. Center for Medical Anthropology (CMA), a division of Nikolai Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology (IEA) since 2015, actively works in this sphere. Earlier, since 2005, the unit was called Group for Medical Anthropology (see: Kharitonova 2011).

CMA has organized symposia on medical anthropology and bioethics since 2013, in coordination with some of Moscow’s medical universities, and with invited experts from Russia’s academic and educational institutions, as well as foreign researchers. In 2013, for the first time, the symposium was organized jointly with Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. At that event, the Russian Association of Medical Anthropologists (AMA) was created – an initiative from Miklukho-Maklai Institute and several Russian universities. Since then, CMA and AMA have regularly held academic symposia and conferences, choosing the most relevant topics: see information materials on AMA and IEA websites, and the articles on the outcomes of the events in Medical Anthropology and Bioethics journal. The proceedings of the symposia are published in the anthology series Works on Medical Anthropology.

This article is a detailed review of the 7th International Interdisciplinary Scientific-practical Symposium “Medical Anthropology in Modern World: Traditional Studies and New Perspectives” (June 2019, IEA). The event took place a short time before XIII Congress of anthropologists and ethnologists of Russia (CAER; held in early July in Kazan). In its frameworks, an extended session on medical anthropology was held, which has become traditional in recent years.


V Indii sozdano ministerstvo jogi i gomeopatii [The Ministry of Yoga and Homeopathy established in India] (2014) Nauchnaja Rossija [Scientific Russia], November 21 ( (30.06.2019).

Obratnaja storona Luny, ili chto my ne znaem ob invalidnosti: teorii, reprezentacii, praktiki [The flip side of the moon, or what we don’t know about disability: theory, representation, practice] (2018) Sb. Statej [Collection of articles]. Edited by A.S. Kurlenkova, E.E. Nosenko-Stein, Moscow: IBA Publishing House.

Strategija VOZ v oblasti narodnoj mediciny 2014–2023 [WHO traditional medicine strategy 2014–2023] (2013) Vsemirnaja organizacija zdravoohranenija [World Health Organization]

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Kharitonova, V.I. (2011) Vvedenie. Medicinskaja antropologija na Zapade i v Rossii [Introduction. Medical Anthropology in the West and in Russia], Jetnograficheskoe obozrenie [Ethnographic Review], № 3, с. 3–10.

Kharitonova, V.I. (2016) Obrazovatel’no-professional’nye aspekty obespechenija zdorov’esberezhenija [Educational and professional aspects of ensuring health conservation], Medicinskaja antropologija i biojetika [Medical Anthropology and Bioethics], 1(11) ( (30.06.2019).