Selected Topics in Cultural Anthropology: Medical Anthropology


This course explores what medical anthropology is and how anthropologists investigate and respond to studies of disease, suffering and healing in specific contexts.


What you can learn.

  • Develop an understanding of key concepts and theoretical issues in medical anthropology
  • Think critically and analytically about the nature of health, disease, and healing in cross-cultural realities
  • Apply anthropological methodologies and theories to an analysis of one’s own observations and research data

About this course:

Medical anthropology focuses on understanding factors that influence health and wellbeing (broadly defined), the distribution and experience of illness, prevention and treatments for sickness, healing processes, social relationships, and the cultural importance and utilization of pluralistic medical systems.This course explores medical anthropology and how anthropologists investigate and respond to studies of disease, suffering and healing. It considers how local and global processes shape natural aspects of our bodies, such as disease, sex, and death. The course introduces a broad range of topics, theoretical approaches and research techniques used in the sub discipline. Students will understand the value of the comparative perspective in health studies and the value of a holistic, ecological framework for learning medical anthropology. Transferable for UC credit. 

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