Sociology and Anthropology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

ANTH 381: Medical Anthropology

ANTH 381-001: Medical Anthropology
(Spring 2017)

10:30 AM to 11:45 AM TR

Buchanan Hall (formerly Mason Hall) D003

Section Information for Spring 2017

This course is an introduction to medical anthropology, which includes the study of health, illness, the body, and healing in a cross-cultural perspective. The field draws on various theoretical approaches to understand the interaction of biology, culture, the social environment, and medicine. We will read anthropological accounts from different settings around the world to explore how health and illness are culturally constructed and mediated. How do social processes determine disease and health outcomes in individuals and communities? How are medical technologies understood and utilized in different cultural settings? How do we socially and culturally account for health disparities? How does someone’s background and upbringing influence the ways they understand their bodies and disease? We will focus on cultural interpretations of sickness and healing and of medical systems and will attempt to better understand global health problems in a larger cultural, historical, ecological, and political-economic contexts. In addition, we will ask how medical science is influenced by culture and by economic and political institutions. The course will begin with key scholars and theories in medical anthropology and an introduction to research methods. After, we will focus on case studies from around the world on topics such as, the relationship between traditional healing and Western medicine, structural violence and social suffering, the development of technologies and the limitations of the human body, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, aging and death, mental health, genetics, and other global health concerns, including malaria, tuberculosis, and access to services. This course is open to all undergraduate students regardless of major and would be of particular interest to those in anthropology, sociology, Global Affairs, Women and Gender Studies, history, philosophy, religious studies, global and community health, nursing, biology, pre-med, and SPGIA. Fulfills CHSS Non-Western Requirement.

Non-Western Culture


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Surveys the discipline of medical anthropology, focusing on traditional medical beliefs and the diverse responses to modern scientific medicine in developing countries and among cultural minorities in the United States. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 credits, or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.

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