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Unit of study_

ANTH2627: Medical Anthropology

2024 unit information

Medical anthropology is the study of health, illness and healing and how they are shaped by historical, social, cultural, political and economic forces. This unit examines different understandings, experiences and treatment of illness across cultures from the Global North to the Global South. Topics include mental health, symbolism in healing, health promotion, structural violence, drug addiction, the medicalisation of women’s bodies, obesity, and infectious diseases, including Covid-19.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


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 availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

There are no availabilities for this year.
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2021
Normal day Remote
Semester 2 2022
Normal day Remote

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.