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AN3004 - Medical Anthropology

[Offered in even-numbered years]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2011
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: School of Arts & Social Sciences

Using different analytical approaches, this subject explores the variety of medical systems human groups have developed through time to maintain the health of individuals and communities. Emphasis is placed on ecological and evolutionary approaches to health. The Western medical or biomedical paradigm is situated philosophically and historically in order to view it as a culturally and ideologically informed knowledge system to be considered from a comparative anthropological viewpoint. Case materials are drawn from Indigenous Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Learning Outcomes

  • apply these perspectives to current issues in health across cultures, including issues associated with applied anthropology and social development;
  • extend this perspective into a more meaningful conceptual framework which takes into account cultural differences between human groups;
  • locate the development of the Western and non-Western systems within a broader ecological framework in which health systems are seen to be measures of societies adaptation to their environments;
  • understand the variation in disease patterns, and social responses to them, between human groups by reference to the cultural basis of the human condition.

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.