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Unit of study_

ANTH2627: Medical Anthropology

Medical anthropology is a comparative and ethnographic response to the global influence of biomedicine within diverse cultural worlds. This unit will examine major theoretical approaches, their respective critiques, and the methods that underpin them. Concepts such as 'health/illness', 'disease', 'well-being', 'life-death', and 'body/mind' will be located in a variety of cultural contexts and their implications for different approaches to diagnosis and treatment considered. The unit will include culturally located case studies of major contemporary health concerns, such as AIDS.

Code ANTH2627
Academic unit Anthropology
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 1000 level in Anthropology or 12 credit points at 1000 level in Gender Studies

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the key concepts anthropologists use to describe and analyze the social and cultural meanings of health and illness
  • LO2. know and understand the interrelationships between social forces, cultural values, the environment and a person's health and wellbeing
  • LO3. know and understand how social, political and economic forces contribute to human suffering, sickness and disease
  • LO4. read ethnographies in medical anthropology critically, identify a scholar's theoretical perspective, and appreciate the relative strengths and limitations of different analytic and interpretive approaches for the specific questions asked in medical anthropology
  • LO5. synthesize qualitative observations of people's thinking, behaviour, and their experience of health and illness with similar cases and with theoretical frameworks to make generalizations about the nature, causes and consequences of health and illness.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.