The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook

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).


Availability2019 Course Timetables

Callaghan

  • Semester 1 - 2019

Online

  • Semester 1 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the ways in which experiences are socially constructed and culturally understood.

2. Demonstrate a capacity to think critically and creatively about different societies and cultures.

3. Employ written skills.

4. Appraise the ability to critically analyse cultural understandings, representations and social practices.

5. Prioritise an understanding of different theoretical perspectives used to investigate both cultural and social practices of health and illness.


Content

Topics may include:

  1. Theories of the way in which experiences are symbolically, 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.

Assumed knowledge

40 units of study at 1000 level


Assessment items

Quiz: Quiz 1 (10%)

Essay: Essay (35%)

Quiz: Quiz 2 (15%)

Formal Examination: Take Home Exam (40%)


Contact hours

Callaghan

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

Online

Lecture

Online 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Tutorial

Online 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term