Medical Anthropology

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Mount Holyoke College
This course provides an introduction to medical anthropology. Core topics will include the culture of medicine, the interaction of biology and society, the experience of illness, caregiving, addiction, violence, and humanitarian intervention. We will explore how ethnographic research and social theory can enrich understanding of illness and care, raising issues for and about medicine and public health often left out of other disciplinary approaches. Throughout, we will emphasize the vantage point of the local worlds in which people experience, narrate, and respond to illness and suffering; and the ways in which large-scale forces contribute to such local experience.Biocultural aspects of disease and healing are examined through case studies of nonindustrialized societies, including the relationship between malaria and sickle cell anemia in West Africa and ritual cannibalism, AIDS, and a degenerative nervous-system disorder (kuru) in highland New Guinea. This course surveys the cultural construction of suffering and healing, the medicalization of human social problems, and inequities in the distribution of disease and therapy.
Prereq: ANTHR-105.
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Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
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Course Sections

Medical Anthropology
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Lynn Morgan TTH 10:00AM-11:15AM