Cultural Worlds of Health and Illness

Description

This course offers an introduction to medical and critical medical anthropology, and the related cross-cultural and inter-cultural belief systems that relate to health and illness. We will explore different cultural understandings and conceptualisations of health and illness causality, and consider the practices different cultural groups use and apply to take care of their health and illness. Using a wide range of ethnographic case studies, the different lectures will examine cross-cultural and inter-cultural approaches to the social construction of health and illness, the role of symbolism in healing, shamanistic practices, embodiment and emotions, biomedicine and science-based approaches to health and illness, reproduction, gender, health and surrogacy, cultural differences between health and well-being, alternative healing practices, health promotion and regulation, bodily and mental disorders, as well as the working with medical technologies (such as organ transplantation, and more generally, screening the body).

Availability

Callaghan Campus

  • Semester 1 - 2015

On-Line from Callaghan

  • Semester 1 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. An appreciation of the depth and the breadth of knowledge in the social sciences

2. A capacity to think critically and creatively about societies and culture, as well as their personal participation in and contribution to their society and culture

3. High level oral and written communication skills

4. Responsiveness to the demands of the workplace, the broader community, and engagement in development studies and with applied approaches.

5. An understanding of the different theoretical perspectives used to study cultural practices of health and illness

6. Knowledge of the way in which experiences are culturally constituted and socially controlled

7. An ability to critically analyse cultural understandings, representations and social practices

8. Skills in giving oral presentations, writing academic essays, undertaking and contributing to applied and policy research.

Content

Topics may include:

  1. Theories of the way in which experiences are symbolically, and socially and culturally constituted
  2. Theories of social and cultural approaches to health and illness
  3. Ethnographic studies of how relationships are negotiated, understandings mediated and meanings constructed, with a particular emphasis on cultural difference
  4. Classic and contemporary ethnographic studies of health and illness
  5. The political economy of health and illness.

Replacing Course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): SOCA3325. Students who have successfully completed SOCA3325 are not eligible to enrol in SOCA2325.

Assumed Knowledge

40 units of study at 1000 level

Assessment Items

Essay: Essay 1

Essay: Essay 2

Presentation: Presentations, Tutorial Participation

Contact Hours

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Face-to face or online lecture for 1 Hour per Week for the Full Term

Tutorial

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Tutorial for 1 Hour per Week for the Full Term or Engagement in online tutorial as well as self-directed learning