STS 344 - Medical Anthropology
Winter 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Science, Technology & Society (STS)
Department: LSA II: Science, Tech & Soc.
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Details

Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
SS
Enforced Prerequisites:
ANTHRCUL 101 or 222; or sophomore and above.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Description

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 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 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.

Class Format:

Our class will be a mixed format, due to Covid. Our discussion sections will meet in person at their scheduled time. Our exams and all films will be held in our classroom at our regular class time. Lectures will be a combination of in person and remote.

Schedule

STS 344 - Medical Anthropology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
36633
Open
4
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
36634
Open
1
 
-
M 10:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
36635
Closed
0
 
-
M 3:00PM - 4:00PM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
36636
Closed
0
 
-
M 4:00PM - 5:00PM
005 (DIS)
 In Person
36637
Open
2
 
-
W 9:00AM - 10:00AM
006 (DIS)
 In Person
36638
Closed
0
 
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
007 (DIS)
 In Person
36639
Closed
0
 
-
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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