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Aquest Col·loqui s'organitza en el marc del projecte "GenereM Salut Global: Recerca, educació i transformació social per la promoció del dret a la salut de les dones" coordinat per Farmacèutics Mundi Catalunya, amb la col·laboració del Medical Anthropology Research Center i del Departament d'Antropologia, Filosofia i Treball Social, i amb el finançament de l'Agència Catalana de Cooperació al Desenvolupament. 


This Symposium is organised within the framework of the project “GenereM Salut: research, education and social transformation for the promotion of the health rights of women” coordinated by Farmacèutics Mundi Catalunya, with the collaboration of the Medical Anthropology Research Center, DAFITS (URV). This project is funded by the Catalan Agency for International Development.

In the contemporary world, medicines occupy a central place, both in governmental and international agendas, and in the daily management of processes of health, disease, care and prevention. 

Government and non-governmental organizations have identified large population groups of population whose access to essential medicines is greatly limited due to different economic, political and cultural motives, among them Intellectual Property clauses and socioeconomic and gender inequality stand out. There is growing evidence that the social determinants of health can explain most of the health inequities, including access and use of medicines. From the sociocultural perspective in this field it can be pointed out that medicines are objects and symbols at the same time; such that the entire chain of production, distribution, sale, prescription, use and consumption of the medicine is influenced by both dimensions, the material and the symbolic. The combination of all these questions, invites us to reflect on the dilemmas and contemporary challenges that involve the use of medicines in the globalised world.


For this reason, the Medical Anthropology Research Center (MARC) of the University Rovira and Virgili (URV) and Farmamundi, with the collaboration of the Department of Anthropology, Philosophy and Social Work (DAFITS) open this call for abstracts for the II MARC Symposium “Medicines and Culture”. This meeting aims to discuss the aspects related to medicines and culture, so as to understand contemporary processes surrounding the difficulties in equitable access to medicines and, consequently, to health.


We encourage researchers from different disciplines working on the processes of health/disease/care, user groups, people working in the pharmacological context, health policy advocates and related fields to submit communications for dealing with the relationship between medicines and culture in its broadest sense and contribute to generate knowledge about the relationships between medicines and human behaviour, and hence their socio-cultural contexts.


With the purpose of designing a provisional structure for the Symposium, we propose six major thematic blocks:


  1. History of the medicine-culture relationship and the appropriation of medicines and its hegemonisation from the Hippocratic times until date.

  2. The socio-cultural determinants and consequences of access to medicines, considering the entire cycle of medication (from production to consumption).

  3. Gender relations as a determining and/or distinguishing factor for access to medicines and, consequently, to health.

  4. Activism and Medicines: The role of NGOs, the civil society and social movements, for the development of the current agenda of access to essential medicines as a basic human right.

  5. The role of international and national legislation and Intellectual Property: free trade agreements, patents, generic drugs and the political economy of drugs.

  6. Bioethics and pharmacological research: experimentation, responsible use of medicines, and research protocols with humans and animals.


Some questions of interest for the Symposium are:


  • How does the normative of Intellectual Property influence the handling of medicines?

  • Generic medicines: Its appearance on the market, what does it mean and for whom?

  • How can we improve access to medicines? How much of this has to do with cultural determinants of accessibility?

  • How does gender inequalities condition access to medicines -considering the entire cycle of the medication– from production to consumption?

  • How do the users organize themselves? What speeches, practices and counter-hegemonic experiences exist in the use of medicines?

  • What new types of moral sense come into play in the demand for access to medicines?


The call is open to abstracts for oral communications, photography samples, audio-visual compositions and posters. Other proposals regarding topics or delivery form, as well as workshops will also be positively considered. If the proposal is of your interest, please write to






Maximum length: 300 words.

Font: Garamond 12, Paragraph: 1.5. Margins: 2.5

File format: PDF

Languages: Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, German, or Italian


Information to be included: (1) type of proposal (oral, photographic, audio-visual communication, workshop, other) (2) title of the communication, (3) names (s) of authors and group of investigation or organization (if applicable), (4) phone number, (5) e-mail contact (in case of multiple authors, indicate all addresses) and (6) postal address of reference.


After the summary, please include a short curriculum with an overview of institutional affiliation and research interests and/or activism (if applicable). (max 100 words)



Mode of abstract submission


Abstracts should be sent to before May 23rd, 2016.

Date of response (acceptance of proposals): May 30, 2016.


Due to limitations of space there will be a maximum number of papers accepted, however it may be possible to attend as a listener with certificate of attendance.

The final organization of the program will depend on applications received and accepted for participation.

As soon as the Conference is concluded, with a selection of papers presented a publication will be edited for the collection of e-books of Medical Anthropology of Publications URV.







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