Health, Healing and Hurricane Katrina

A Critical Analysis of Psychosomatic Illness in Survivors (Revised Edition)
By Imanni Sheppard
©2013, 156 pages

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Health, Healing and Hurricane Katrina

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    Health, Healing and Hurricane Katrina: A Critical Analysis of Psychosomatic Illness in Survivors provides a qualitative analysis of the relationship between the social and political ecology of New Orleans and the physical and psychological well-being of its populace during and after Hurricane Katrina. While the conceptual framework for this research is rooted in the Critical Medical theoretical perspective, this book also explores the peripheral trajectory of Hurricane Katrina through the lens of the Social Vulnerability Theory to illustrate the connection between one’s experiences, the stress endured, and the development of psychosomatic illness.

    The author argues that media-related exploitation of Hurricane Katrina survivors indirectly decreased their quality of life and increased their stress by disseminating "refugee" or "evacuee" stereotypes. The book examines the relationship between the degree of illness an individual experienced (or is experiencing) and the prevalence of his or her stress during and following Hurricane Katrina. This text is an ideal supplement for introductory courses in Physical or Medical Anthropology.

    Imanni Sheppard (MA, University of Houston) is a lecturer at the University of Houston and Houston Community College, where she teaches several Introduction to Cultural Anthropology courses and Introduction to Biological Anthropology respectively. She has also published several articles on infanticide of North American Indigenous Peoples and Slaves in the Antebellum south as well as a biographical summation of John Wesley Powell, the former director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian. Sheppard has also presented varying aspects of her work at the 50th Anniversary and International conference for the Society of Medical Anthropology and the American Anthropological Association conference.
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    Praise for Health, Healing and Hurricane Katrina

    As a native New Orleanian and Katrina survivor, Sheppard is able to provide an insightful look into what happened in New Orleans in terms of race politics, the media, and the emotional legacy of such a traumatic event.

    Janis F. Hutchinson, PhD, Department of Anthropology, University of Houston