Anthropology of Antimicrobial Resistance research group

We are a small group of anthropologists at the LSHTM, situated in the Anthropology, Politics and Policy Group. We are interested in developing perspectives on antimicrobial resistance that draw from social theories about medicines, care, technologies, infrastructures, global arrangements on health, multi-species interactions, futures and more.

The group has just completed a year-long project funded by a seed award from the Wellcome Trust’s Humanities and Social Science stream. The project, entitled ‘The Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance: Applying Theory to Practice’, aimed to draw from the considerable existing work in the social sciences that is relevant to better understanding and addressing AMR.

We hosted a unique residential workshop in August 2016 which brought together world renowned social scientists to discuss ‘The Constructing of Antimicrobial Resistance.’ Participants discussed novel ways of thinking about AMR from multiple disciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, sociology, geography, philosophy and history.

The Anthropology of Antimicrobial Resistance group have drawn together an unusual report that both introduces a range of traditional and contemporary anthropological theories and provides illustrations of how these can be applied to AMR. The report importantly provides avenues for moving ideas of the social in AMR ‘beyond behaviour.’ The report addresses AMR in terms of antimicrobial use, AMR policy and AMR science.

We have contributed to the work of the ESRC Social Science AMR Champion, Helen Lambert, by presenting something of an agenda for anthropological work in antimicrobial resistance in April 2016 and by producing a brief to summarise relevant anthropological knowledge for researching AMR.

The group includes: Dr Clare Chandler, a medical anthropologist with expertise in medicines use and diagnostics in low resource settings, whose fieldwork has mainly been situated in Tanzania and Uganda; Dr Eleanor Hutchinson, a social anthropologist with expertise in health systems, policies and care, whose fieldwork has mainly been situated in Malawi and Uganda; and Dr Coll Hutchison, an anthropologist of science with expertise in ideas and ecologies of health, of health sciences and whose fieldwork has mainly been in Argentina and Myanmar.

The group is connected with the Economic, Social and Political Sciences disciplinary pillar in the LSHTM Antimicrobial Resistance Centre.

Follow us on Twitter at @AnthroAMR

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