Undergraduate Course: Anthropology of Health and Healing (SCAN10062)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This 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.
Topics include: key approaches in medical anthropology; the body and its parts; power and resistance; technologies of life and death; healing and medicalization; gender; care
Student Learning Experience
This course is taught through lectures and seminars. Although grounded in social anthropology, this course is open to students with backgrounds in social sciences, medicine, biomedical sciences, and the humanities. Lectures will introduce the core themes, theories, and debates in medical anthropology. Content will be delivered in lecture sessions involving some participatory activities. These will be supported by separate seminars. Students are expected to actively discuss readings in class, and to participate in classroom activities and discussions during lecture time.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting 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?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
Additional Information: short essay due mid-semester (1500 words, 20%); long essay of 3000 words due end of term (80%). The question for the short essay will be available at the beginning of the course. Questions for the long essay will be made available to students in week 6.
||Students will receive guidance on essay writing during lectures and will receive written feedback on the essays. Students are encouraged to seek further verbal feedback on assessments during the weekly guidance and feedback hours or by appointment.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Students will have a critical understanding of the key concept, theoretical approaches and debates in medical anthropology.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A thorough understanding of the implications of the objectification of the body by medical knowledge.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||medical anthropology body medicine culture
|Course organiser||Prof Alexander Edmonds
|Course secretary||Miss Katarzyna Pietrzak
Tel: (0131 6)51 3162