Medical Caregiving and Identity in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Region, 1880-2000 (Hardback)Karol K. Weaver (author)
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While much has been written about immigrant traditions, music, food culture, folklore, and other aspects of ethnic identity, little attention has been given to the study of medical culture, until now. In Medical Caregiving and Identity in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Region, 1880-2000, Karol Weaver employs an impressive range of primary sources, including folk songs, patent medicine advertisements, oral history interviews, ghost stories, and jokes, to show how the men and women of the anthracite coal region crafted their gender and ethnic identities via the medical decisions they made. Weaver examines communities' relationships with both biomedically trained physicians and informally trained medical caregivers, and how these relationships reflected a sense of "Americanness." She uses interviews and oral histories to help tell the story of neighborhood healers, midwives, Pennsylvania German powwowers, medical self-help, and the eventual transition to modern-day medicine. Weaver is able to show not only how each of these methods of healing was shaped by its patrons and their backgrounds but also how it helped mold the identities of the new Americans who sought it out.
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 476 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
-Janet M. Lindman, Rowan University
"While the histories of mining and labor in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania have been well documented, much less is known about medical practices among working-class immigrants. Karol Weaver's well-researched and clearly written monograph goes a long way toward filling that gap in the scholarship."
-Janet M. Lindman, Rowan University
"Finally, a scholar has tackled in rich detail the meeting of folk and modern medical beliefs and practices during international migration. Medical Caregiving and Identity in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Region is a valuable introduction to the powwowers, wise neighbors, midwives, regional hospitals, and mining company and immigrant doctors who offered mining communities a panoply of changing health care choices. This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in the social history of U.S. immigration."
-Donna Gabaccia, University of Minnesota
"[Karol Weaver] provides great details about the customs and practices that the immigrants and their families observed to overcome minor and even severe medical problems. . . . This is the first major book to focus on medical care in the coal regions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries."
"Many thousands of immigrants found work in the coal mines of central and eastern Pennsylvania around 1900. . . . [Karol K. Weaver] provides great details about the customs and practices that the immigrants and their families observed to overcome minor and even severe medical problems during those early years. This is the first major book to focus on medical care in the coal regions of the late 19th and 20th centuries."
-Al Holliday, Pennsylvania Magazine
"Medicine is as much an art as it is a science. It is this subject of medicine as art that Karol K. Weaver covers in her excellent new study Medical Caregiving and Identity in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Region. . . . Well written and researched, it should be included on every reading list dealing with American social and labor history, as well as health care delivery."
-Richard P. Mulcahy, Bulletin of the History of Medicine
"Weaver's book . . . is a fascinating read and contributes to the growing body of literature on local medical cultures in the United States and their transformation over time. The author convincingly demonstrates the importance of medical practices to ethnic identity, and the crucial roles of gender and religion in popular healing."
-Beatrix Hoffman, American Historical Review
"In Medical Caregiving and Identity in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Region, 1880-2000, Karol Weaver skillfully weaves history and the lives of medical caregivers together within the context of policy, class, gender, and a transcultural society."
-John C. Kirchgessner, Nursing History Review