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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Anthropology

Undergraduate Course: Anthropology of Health and Healing (SCAN10062)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an advanced introduction to the anthropology of health, illness and healing. Students will be introduced to key theories and current debates at the interface of anthropology and medicine through a focus on cross-cultural approaches to illness, pain, healing, the body and care. We will explore how different ways of experiencing and knowing the body, including varied concepts of gender, sexuality, and the life course, can radically alter how people think about and engage with issues of health and healing. This course explores biomedicine as one among many ways of thinking through and constituting personhood, illness and the body. It deals with the challenges that arise when biomedical expertise meets other understandings of illness and suffering; the multiple kinds of care provided in institutional, public, religious and domestic settings; the relationship between curing and healing; and the ways in which people grapple with affliction and uncertainty through narrative, through relationships, and through action. Medical anthropology is not only narrowly concerned with suffering and sickness but examines the significance of wellbeing, health and medicine for all domains of social life. This course therefore explores the centrality of health and healing to social, political, and historical processes in general.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Anthropology courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
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 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course will be assessed by a combination of (i) a short essay that will serve as a formative feedback event (word-limit: 1500) and (ii) a long essay (word-limit: 3000). The short essay carries a weighting of 30% towards the final overall mark for the course as a whole, and the long essay carries a weighting of 70%.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will have a critical understanding of the key concept, theoretical approaches and debates in medical anthropology.
  2. Be able to demonstrate knowledge of the ways in which social understandings of the human body are formed and transformed by healing knowledge and practices.
  3. A clear understanding of how "traditional healers" form their practices in a field of multiple healer-patient relations and why "modernity" has not made non- biomedical forms of healing disappear.
  4. Be able to analyse and debate how broader political, economic, and historical frames are immediately relevant for an understanding of the body, illness, and healing.
  5. A thorough understanding of the implications of the objectification of the body by medical knowledge.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsmedical anthropology body medicine culture
Course organiserMs Lucy Lowe
Tel: (0131 6)51 5574
Course secretaryMiss Lauren Ayre
Tel: (0131 6)50 4001
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