Although the use of injections is a worldwide phenomenon, little systematic research has been conducted into this practice8. This chapter will principally consider the social and cultural meanings of therapeutic injections. Vaccinations, infusions and other medical techniques which involve the penetration of the skin (acupuncture, for example) will not be dealt with here.
8This chapter is a revised translation of an article published by S. van der Geest and A. Hardon (1994) under the title 'The Power of Injections. Social and Cultural Aspects'. This reprint has the full consent of the authors.