is appropriate to add that the present study is viewed as much as a contribu-
tion to community medicine as to self-care and traditional medicine. Patients'
attitudes are central to many issues in community medicine, a discipline with
complex roots in public health, hospital and health administration, and social
medicine. Some frustration exists over the lack of conceptual unity in community
medicine, but at least lay attitudes (spread through the community "grapevine")
toward illness and self-treatment set a framework for much community practice.
2. This study is not specifically "about the Appalachians," though it contributes to
Appalachian studies. Much debate and disagreement exist about how to view
the people of Appalachia and about diverse interpretations by historians, soci-
ologists, and others. For a useful summary, see R. M. Simon
which make clear that social conditions and forces conspicuous in Appalachia
are not necessarily entirely unique to the region are in line with views in this
Many topics mentioned by Bass have been noted in various publications on
Appalachia; for instance, everything from apples to logging is recorded from the
Rabun Gap area of Georgia, seventy-five miles distant from Bass, and published in
the Foxfire series of books. Among much other relevant reading, T. Rosengarten's
All God's Dangers. The Life of Nate Shaw
an autobiography of a black
tenant farmer from east-central Alabama, can be singled out. Nevertheless, Bass's
recollections, with their colorful metaphors and considerable detail-always car-
dinal features of his conversation-add insight into diversity and change in the
See MacCormack
quoting Fulder and Munro.
5. For example, World Health Organization Technical Report Series no.
622 (1978,
This significant publication provides a general survey and specifically con-
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