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

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Medical Anthropology (SCAN11014)

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 Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course offers students an introduction to the key concepts in medical anthropology. Medical anthropology studies health, illness, and healing in different cultural contexts. One of anthropology's most rapidly growing sub-disciplines, medical anthropology explores both traditional healing and modern medical technologies. 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 Weekly topics:
(1) introduction and history of medical anthroplogy;
(2) disease v illness/rationality v belief;
(3) medical pluralism;
(4) body and experience;
(5) governmentality and biological citizenship
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students will have a critical understanding of the core concepts in medical anthropology and be able to apply them to a range of ethnographic case studies. They will understand founding debates about the difference between 'disease' and 'illness', and be able to link this to epistemological claims about rationality and belief in medically plural societies. They will be able to question taken-for-granted concepts about the body and describe the difference between the body as the object of medical knowledge and the body as subject of lived experience. Finally, they will learn to use concepts such as 'governmentality' and 'biological citizenship' to think about how the body has been theorised both as a conduit for power and a basis through which claims to welfare and other rights can be made.
Reading List
Representative texts

Berg, M. & A. Mol. 1998. Differences in medicine: unravelling practices, techniques and bodies. Durham, London: Duke University Press.
Brodwin, P. 1996. Medicine and morality in Haiti. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Csordas, T. (ed.) 1995. Embodiment and experience: the existential ground of culture and self. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Das, V. 1995. The anthropology of pain. In Critical events. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Fadiman, A. 1998. The spirit catches you and you fall down: a Hmong child, her American doctors and the collision of two cultures: Farrar Straus & Giroux Inc.
Good, B. 1994. Medicine, rationality and experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Good, B., M.J. Fischer, S.J. Willen & M.J. Delvecchio Good (eds) 2010. A reader in medical anthropology: theoretical trajectories, emergent realities. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
Kleinman, A. 1980. Patients and healers in the context of culture. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Lock, M. & J. Farquahar (eds) 2007. Beyond the body proper. Durham N.C., London: Duke University Press.
Nichter, M. & M. Lock (eds) 2002. New horizons in medical anthropology. London and New York: Routledge.
Petryna, A. 2002. Life exposed: biological citizens after Chernobyl. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Stefan Ecks
Tel: (0131 6)50 6969
Course secretaryMrs Gillian Macdonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 3244
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