21A.215 Medical Anthropology: Culture, Society, and Ethics in Disease and Health

Fall 2008

Photograph of Navajo healing ceremony.
A young patient observes a medicine man (on the right) and helper prepare a sandpainting as part of her healing ceremony. (Image courtesy of the National Library of Medicine, Navajo Area Indian Health Service Today, IHS, 1980.)

Course Highlights

This course contains lecture notes and reading questions for nearly every session, as well as an extensive supplementary reading list.

Course Description

This course looks at medicine from a cross-cultural perspective, focusing on the human, as opposed to biological, side of things. Students learn how to analyze various kinds of medical practice as cultural systems. Particular emphasis is placed on Western (bio-) medicine; students examine how biomedicine constructs disease, health, body, and mind, and how it articulates with other institutions, national and international.
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Prof. Jean Jackson

Course Meeting Times

2 sessions / week
1.5 hours / session