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

Postgraduate Course: Health and Migration (PGSP11501)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryGlobal flows of people have long been linked to the transmission of diseases and health risks, which have great implications for people's movement, health and well-being - especially in the era of epidemics which do not respect international borders, where threats to human health have been deployed to securitize the issue of migration. In this course we examine the social, political and economic production of diseases and their interaction with processes of migration, transit, legal status, and migrants' incorporation into the places to which they migrate, over time - as well as their effects on the places of origin. We will offer anthropological perspectives on some of the great crises of migrant health in our times.
Course description 1) Academic description

Health and migration have been intertwined historically, from the 19th century rejection of undesirable Southern and Eastern European and Asian immigrants at Ellis and Angel Islands on the grounds of medicalised prejudice, to present day requirement of pre-entry health screening of immigrants to the UK, and the forced deportation of migrant labourers from the Persian Gulf countries for their HIV positive status. This course will use ethnographic case studies and anthropological theory to understand these historical entanglements and what those understandings may offer to make sense of our present condition in relation to health and migration. Moving between case studies exploring the health experiences of different streams of migrants, the course works towards driving policy and political questions concerning the biopolitical governance of migration.

2) Outline content or syllabus

I. Introduction; historical precedents to complex interactions of health and migration.

II. Epidemics; labour migration; health workforce.

III. Gender; sexuality; reproduction

IV. Diaspora; transnationalism, social remittances; illegal migration, refugee's health

3) Student learning experience

The course will be delivered through seminar-style presentations and class discussions. Presentations by the course organiser will outline the conceptual terrain and salient case studies for a given week linking them up with the overall objectives of the course. The class discussions will primarily focus on ethnographic material for the week, thus developing critical reflection and communication. The students will read the key readings for discussion in advance of the class.
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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative essay (1000 words) 20%

Final essay (3000 words) 80%
Feedback Students will be required to submit a formative essay mid-way through the semester on a topic agreed with the course organiser. Feedback on this formative piece will be provided individually or in groups (depending on the class size). The final essay will draw on a range of themes and issues across the course and reflect reading around the topic in addition to set readings in the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critical awareness and extensive knowledge of key concepts and debates in anthropology of health and migration.
  2. In-depth understanding of the relationship between peoples' health and migration through time and space and the structures and dynamics that underpin that relationship.
  3. Ability to critically analyse anthropological literature on health and migration, especially ethnographic case studies from various contexts.
  4. Ability to identify and effectively engage with methodological and ethical complexities in the field of health and migration and the anthropology of global health, more broadly.
Reading List
Indicative Readings:

Abel, E. K. (2007). Tuberculosis and the politics of exclusion: A history of public health and migration to Los Angeles. Rutgers University Press.

Ahmad, A. 2011. Masculinity, Sexuality, and Illegal Migration: Human Smuggling from Pakistan to Europe. Ashgate

Browner, C. H., & Sargent, C. F. (2011). Reproduction, globalization, and the state: New theoretical and ethnographic perspectives. Duke University Press.

Castañeda, H. (2008). Anxieties over "demographic theft" and undocumented migrant reproduction in Germany. MAQ, 22(4), 340.

Constable N. 2009. Sexuality and discipline among Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong. In Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective, ed. C Brettell, C Sargent, pp. 545-64. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. 5th ed.

Constable, N. 2015. 'Migrant Motherhood, Failed Migration, and the Gendered Risks of Precarious Labour' TRaNS: Trans-Regional and-National Studies of Southeast Asia 3(1): 135-151.

Cooper, K. (2007). Maids, migrants and occupational health in the London sex industry. Anthropology & Medicine., 14(1), 41.

Fassin, D. (2005). The truth from the body: Medical certificates as ultimate evidence for asylum seekers. American Anthropologist., 107(4), 597.

Fairchild, A. 2003. Science at the Borders: Immigrant Medical Inspection and the Shaping of the Modern Industrial Labour Force. John Hopkins University Press

Fleischman, Y., Willen, S.S., et al., (2015). "Migration as a social determinant of health for irregular migrants: Israel as case study". Social Science & Medicine, 147, pp.89-97.

Holmes, S. (2013). Fresh fruit, broken bodies: Migrant farmworkers in the United States (Vol. 27). Univ of California Press.

Holmes, S. and H. Castaneda. 2016. 'Representing the ¿European refugee crisis¿ in Germany and beyond: Deservingness and difference, life and death.' American Ethnologist 43(1): 12-24.

Livingston, J. 2005. Debility and the moral imagination in Botswana. Indiana University Press.

Qureshi, A. (2013). Structural violence and the state: HIV and labour migration from Pakistan to the Persian Gulf. Anthropology & Medicine, 20(3), 209-220.

Sargent, C., & Larchanché, S. (2011). Transnational migration and global health: the production and management of risk, illness, and access to care. Annual Review of Anthropology, 40, 345-361.

Shah, N. (2001). Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Fransisco's Chinatown. Berkeley: University of California Press

Thomas, F., Haour-Knipe, M., & Aggleton, P. (Eds.). (2009). Mobility, sexuality and AIDS. Routledge.

Willen, S. (2011). Do "illegal" migrants have a right to health? Engaging ethical theory as social practice at a Tel Aviv Open Clinic. MAQ, 25(3), MAQ , 2011, Vol.25(3).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will be equipped with new skills in:

1. Synthesizing and analyzing empirical and theoretical materials from a variety of sources, with particular emphasis on lateral thinking.
2. Examining, using, and assessing evidence in support of explanatory and normative claims.
3. Developing and evaluating arguments that take different kinds of social complexity into account.
4. Exercising informed independent thought and critical judgment.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ayaz Qureshi
Tel: (0131 6)51 5361
Course secretaryMr Adam Petras
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