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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Anthropology of Health and Illness (PGSP11423)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryMedical Anthropology is concerned with experiences and practices of health, illness, and healing in different social and cultural settings. One of anthropology's most rapidly growing sub-disciplines, medical anthropology explores both traditional healing and modern medical technologies. It looks at how healing forms address both old ills and emerging health problems associated with social change. This course introduces the students to the key issues in medical anthropology and gets them engaged with the field's distinctive perspective on health and healing.
Course description Week 1. What is Medical Anthropology?
Week 2. Key Approaches to Health and Healing
Week 3. Research Methods and Ethics
Week 4. The Body and its Parts
Week 5. Performative Healing
Week 6. Medical Pluralism
Week 7. Really Real Remedies
Week 8. Biopower and biological citizenship
Week 9. Self-care
Week 10. Health and the Politics of Justice
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 800-1000 word review essay (30%)
One 3,000-3,500 word assignment for (70%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. analyze health and healing from an anthropological perspective
  2. by reading a range of ethnographies, realize the breadth and scope of the anthropological engagement with medicine and healing
  3. have an advanced understanding of how the body is constituted as an object of the knowledges and practices of medicine in different cultural contexts
  4. have an advanced knowledge of non-biomedical forms of healing
  5. appreciate how different anthropological theories can be applied to issues in health and healing
Reading List
Course Textbook

Lock, M. & Farquhar, J. (Eds). 2007. Beyond the Body Proper: Reading the Anthropology of Material Life. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Introductory Readings

Hahn, R. 1995. Sickness and Healing: An Anthropological Perspective. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Helman, C.G. (Ed.). 2007. Culture, Health and Illness: An Introduction for Health Professionals. Fifth Edition. Oxford: Hodder Arnold.
Lock, M. M., & Nguyen, V.-K. 2010. An anthropology of Biomedicine. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Nichter, M. 2008. Global Health: Why Cultural Perceptions, Social Representations, and Biopolitics Matter. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press.
Nichter, M. & Lock, M. (Eds.). 2002. New Horizons in Medical Anthropology: Essays in Honour of Charles Leslie. London: Routledge.
Pool, R. & Geissler, W. 2005. Medical Anthropology. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Samson, C. (Ed.). 1999. Health Studies: A Critical and Cross-Cultural Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
Saillant, F. & Genest, S. (Eds). 2007. Medical Anthropology: Regional Perspectives and Shared Concerns. Oxford: Blackwell.
Sargent, C.F. & Johnson, T.M. (Eds.). 1996. Medical Anthropology: Contemporary Theory and Method. Revised Edition. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Lucy Lowe
Tel: (0131 6)51 5574
Course secretaryMs Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 5066
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