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Medical Anthropology
ANTH 243
Spring 2017
Section: 01  

Situated at the intersection of the clinical and social sciences, medical anthropology seeks to understand suffering and healing in cross-cultural contexts. More specifically, it explores the mutual shaping of culture, on one hand, and biology and ethnomedicine (including Western medicine), on the other. This course serves as an introduction to this exciting field. Students will begin by mastering the dominant approaches within medical anthropology for studying human affliction. We will then examine various case examples of bodies in distress, through which we will explore how illness, experienced as a form of biological or psychological rupture, is nearly always social: it is shared, socially produced, and communicated through socially learned and sanctioned means. Suffering is also social because its depiction often begs a moral response. With that in mind, we will turn our attention to different modes of healing and care enacted by healers, medical professionals, kin groups, aid workers, and state actors worldwide to alleviate the suffering of others. Specific concepts and topics to be covered include: illness narratives; idioms of distress; structural and symbolic violence; social suffering; culture-bound syndromes; chronic and infectious disease; disability; body commodification; ethnomedicine; and embodiment.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ANTH
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ANTH)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on APR-15-2024
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