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Illness and Healing - ANTH202

This unit offers an introduction to medical anthropology and cross-cultural beliefs relating to illness and healing. In this unit, we examine health and illness from a multilevel perspective that explores the evolution of human disease, the role of culture in shaping epidemiology, varying cultural notions of disease causality, the individual experience of illness, and the socio-political factors that condition our experience and management of negatively-valued states of health. Throughout, the unit emphasizes that good health - and conversely ill health - is never simply a “fact” about the body. Disease and illness have social as well as biological origins, which means our understanding of this central fact of human life must incorporate not only biological factors, but also the broader cultural frameworks that transform mere disease into the culturally-specific experience of illness. Thus we treat healing practices — including Western biomedicine - as inevitably predicated upon cultural systems of understanding. How people understand illness and where it comes from, and what they do about it when it does occur, tells us a lot about how different societies understand people, bodies, and the environmental surround.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

S2 External - Session 2, External (On-campus dates: None)

Staff Contact(s): Dr Kevin Groark

ANTH150 or (12cp at 100 level or above) or (admission to GDipArts or BHlth) Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): ANTH274
Unit Designation(s):


Unit Type: People unit
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Anthropology

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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