• Ummey Fariha M. Phil Research Scholar. Department of Anthropology. University of Dhaka, Bangladesh



Biomedicine, Women Health, Medicalization, Biopower, Critical Medical Anthropology (CMA).


Medical anthropology, an interdisciplinary subfield of mainstream anthropology, has become the most popular and potential knowledge that receiving its brawny figure at present world. Biomedicine, a strong concept of medical anthropology includes: the scientific medicine, allopathy medicine, modern medicine and the regular medicine that basically focuses on human biology, pathophysiology, western knowledge and modern technology. It has become globally dominant during this century and well-practiced in developed, developing and less developed countries. This study has explored, what are the local nature, practice and perception of western biomedicine in rural area of Bangladesh. This research paper systematically searches, what type of challenges have to face by the rural women to get access to biomedicine or modern medical service in local hospital and clinics. What a modern technology and scientific knowledge-based treatment system impacted on rural women’s biological and mental health, this paper explores that. Applying Critical Medical Anthropology (CMA) Perspective, this paper has sorted out to identify the socio-cultural and political-economic aspects of biomedicine and what are the impacts of biomedicine on rural women health. What kinds of health problems, rural women are facing and what are the ultimate result of it as practicing biomedicine that will be analyzed here. Using Critical Medical Anthropology (CMA) this study has analyzed the power relation that is found in biomedicine and biomedical health seeking in local hospital and clinics that has become the primary area of social control. This article is a written interpretation of an anthropological fieldwork that was done in 2017, in Kaiba village at Sharsha Upazilla of Jashore district of Bangladesh.


Allen, L.H. (2000). Anemia and Iron Deficiency: Effects on Pregnancy Outcome, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 7(11): 280S-4S.

Ardener, Edwin. (1975b). The Problem Revisited. In S. Ardener (ed.) Perceiving Women. London: Kent.

Arju, Sultana; Begum, Afroza; Hossain, Irin; Bari, Shazly; & Aktaruzzaman, M.M. (2017). Ultrasonographic Study in Pregnancy and Sex Preference in Bangladesh. In Texila International Journal of Public Health, 5(1).

Baer, Hans. A. (1989). The American Dominative Medical System as a Reflection of Social Relations in the Larger Society, Social Science and Medicine, 28(11): 1103-1112.

Baer, Hans; Singer, Merrill; & Susser, Ida. (2003). Medical Anthropology and the World System. London.

Begum, Farhana. (2015). Women’s Reproductive Illness: Capital and Health Seeking, Dhaka University Prakashana.

Bernard, H. Russell. (1995). Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, Altamira Press, Rowman & Littlefield.

Brown, Peter, J. (1998). Understanding and Applying Medical Anthropology, London: Mayfield Publishing Company.

Conrad, Peter; & Bergey, Meredith. (2015). Medicalization: Sociological and Anthropological Perspectives. In International Encyclopedia of Social & behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Elsevier Ltd.

Denzin, Norman, K; & Lincoln. Yvonna. S. (2000). Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, Inc.

Ember, R. Carol; & Ember, Melvin. (2004). Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Health and Illness in the World’s Cultures, New York, Kulwer Academic.

Fetterman, David. M. (2010). Ethnography: Step by Step, London Sage Publications.

Freidson, Elliot. (1970). Profession of the Oppressed, New York: Dood, Mead and Co.

Gaines, A, D; & Davis-Floyd, R. (2004). Biomedicine. In C. R. Ember and M. Ember (Eds.); Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Health and Illness in the World’s Cultures, (pp. 95-108), New York, Kulwer Academic.

Gray, Alison. (1996). The Failure of Western Biomedicine: Treatment of Tuberculosis in the United States. In Nexus: The Canadian Student Journal of Anthropology, 12: 23-34.

Kleinman, Arthur. (1978). Concepts and A Model for the Comparison of Medical Systems as Cultural Systems, Social Science and Medicine, 12: 85-93.

Kozer, E, Scolnik, D; Macpherson, A; Rauchwerger, D; & Koren, G. (2006). The effect of a short tutorial on the incidence of prescribing errors in pediatric emergency care. In Can, J.Clin, Pharmacol, 13: 285-291.

Martin, Emily. (1987). The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Nimmon, Laura; Stenfors-Hayas, Terese. (2016). The “Handling” of Power in the Physician Patient Encounter: Perception Form Experienced Physicians, BMC Medical Education, 16: 114.

Paul, Alak; Murshed, Mahbub; Akter, Samia. (2014). Women Health and Disease Pattern in the Rural Areas of Bangladesh: A Case Study on Haimchar Upazila Under Chandpur District.

Paul, Rani, Tripti; Rahman, Ajijur, Md; Biswas, Mohitosh; Rashid, Mamunur; & Islam Ul Anwar, Md. (2014). Medication Error in a Private Hospital of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Journal, 17 (1): 32-37.

Quirke, Vivine; & Gaudilliere, Paul, Jean. (2008). The Era of Biomedicine: Science, Medicine, and Public Health in Britain and France After the Second World War; In Medical History, 52: 441-452.

Reiter, Rayna. R (1975). Toward and Anthropology of Woman; Monthly Review Press. New York and London.

Shah, Faruk, Md (2020). Biomedicine, Healing and Modernity in Rural Bangladesh. Palgrave, Macmillan.

Sultana, Mirza Taslima; Islam, Sadaf-Nur-A. (2007). The Female Body Under Medical Science: Experiences of Different Classes. University Press Limited.

Woolf, H. Steven; Grol, Richard; Hutchinson, Allen; Eccles, Martin; Grimshaw, Jeremy. (1999). Potential Benefits, Limitation and Harms of Clinical Guideline, BMJ, 318: 527-530.

Young, Allan. (1978). Rethinking the Western Health Enterprise, In Medical Anthropology 2 (2): 1-10.

Zaman, S. (2005). Broken limbs, broken lives: Ethnography of a hospital ward in Bangladesh. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis.




How to Cite

Ummey Fariha. (2023). BIOMEDICINE AND WOMEN HEALTH: THE PRACTICE OF BIOMEDICINE IN A RURAL AREA OF BANGLADESH. International Journal of Biomedicine & Life Sciences (IJBLS), 8(1), 20–38.