ANTHRCUL 344 - Medical Anthropology
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
SS
Enforced Prerequisites:
ANTHRCUL 101 or 222; or sophomore and above.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Medical Anthropology examines illness and healing in cross-cultural perspective. How do people make meaning of their suffering? What determines what is normal and what is pathological? How are morality and medicine intertwined? We will examine the ways in which individuals experience illness and seek (and provide) care in the context of local understandings of the body and self; consider the roles of social, political, and economic processes in the shaping of suffering and care; examine a variety of healing systems—including biomedicine—as social institutions that both reflect and influence what people “know” to be true.

Topics include local theories of disease causation and healing power; the placebo effect and the nexus of mind and body; medicalization; risk; the power, promise, and perils of biotechnology; stigma; illness narratives; and the trope of the immune system. We will draw on a variety of examples—cancer, schizophrenia, HIV/AIDS, disabilities, Alzheimer’s, Tourette’s, among others—to illustrate the powerful ways in which stories of sickness are shaped by culture, science, and lived experience. We will also see a number of films allowing us to wrestle with challenging issues, among them incarceration and mental illness; the agonizing choice between cochlear implantation and the loss of “Deaf culture”; the unintended ethical consequences of placing a baby born with no immune system into a sterile bubble for the rest of his life; the so-called cold “refrigerator mothers” who in the 1950s and 60s were blamed for causing autism in their children through inadequate affection; and the struggles of a Hmong shaman to maintain his healing role in the U.S.

ANTHRCUL 344 - Medical Anthropology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 
10958
Open
150
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (DIS)
P
10959
Open
25
 
-
M 10:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (DIS)
P
10960
Open
25
 
-
M 3:00PM - 4:00PM
004 (DIS)
P
16296
Open
25
 
-
M 4:00PM - 5:00PM
005 (DIS)
P
17292
Open
25
 
-
W 9:00AM - 10:00AM
006 (DIS)
P
17293
Open
25
 
-
W 10:00AM - 11:00AM
007 (DIS)
P
18671
Open
25
 
-
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
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