'Being Alive Well': Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being

By Naomi Adelson

© 2000

'Being Alive Well': Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being is a critical medical anthropological analysis of health theory in the social sciences with specific reference to the James Bay Cree of northern Quebec. In it the author argues that definitions of health are not simply reflections of physiological soundness but convey broader cultural and political realities. The book begins with a treatise on the study of health in the social sciences and a call for a broader understanding of the cultural parameters of any definition of health.

Following a chapter that outlines the history of the Whapmagoostui (Great Whale River) region and the people, Adelson presents the underlying symbolic foundations of a Cree concept of health, or miyupimaatisiiun. The core of this book is an ethnographic study of the Whapmagoostui Cree and their particular concept of "health" (miyupimaatisiiun or "being alive well"). That concept is mediated by history, cultural practices, and the contemporary world of the Cree, including their fundamental concerns about their land and culture. In the contemporary context, health – or more specifically, "being alive well" – for the Cree of Great Whale is an intimate fusion of social, political, and personal well-being, thus linking individual bodies to a larger socio-political reality.

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Product Details

  • Series: Anthropological Horizons
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP001229

  • PUBLISHED SEP 2000

    From: $27.71

    Regular Price: $36.95

    ISBN 9780802083265
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2000

    From: $27.71

    Regular Price: $36.95

Quick Overview

A critical anthropological analysis of health theory with specific reference to the James Bay Cree. The author argues that definitions of health are not simply reflections of physiological soundness but convey broader cultural and political realities.

'Being Alive Well': Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being

By Naomi Adelson

© 2000

'Being Alive Well': Health and the Politics of Cree Well-Being is a critical medical anthropological analysis of health theory in the social sciences with specific reference to the James Bay Cree of northern Quebec. In it the author argues that definitions of health are not simply reflections of physiological soundness but convey broader cultural and political realities. The book begins with a treatise on the study of health in the social sciences and a call for a broader understanding of the cultural parameters of any definition of health.

Following a chapter that outlines the history of the Whapmagoostui (Great Whale River) region and the people, Adelson presents the underlying symbolic foundations of a Cree concept of health, or miyupimaatisiiun. The core of this book is an ethnographic study of the Whapmagoostui Cree and their particular concept of "health" (miyupimaatisiiun or "being alive well"). That concept is mediated by history, cultural practices, and the contemporary world of the Cree, including their fundamental concerns about their land and culture. In the contemporary context, health – or more specifically, "being alive well" – for the Cree of Great Whale is an intimate fusion of social, political, and personal well-being, thus linking individual bodies to a larger socio-political reality.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Anthropological Horizons
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    '...a solid contribution to the fields of medical anthropology and sub-arctic ethnology.'


    Peter Stephenson, Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria
  • Author Information

    Naomi Adelson is Associate Professor of Anthropology at York University. She has been working with the Whapmagoostui Cree of northern Quebec since 1988.

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