Medical Anthropology, Introductory Course

Course content

Medical anthropology is the study of health, illness, and healing across the range of human societies and over the course of human experience. It includes the ways that human communities understand and respond to the challenges of health and illness, it studies the meaning of signs of illness and suffering as part of the general study of culture, and it strives to interpret them in the light of wider understandings of resources, technology, ritual and religion. This introductory course covers some of the most familiar and important themes in medical anthropology. The literature focuses on classic texts dealing with issues such as classification of illness, uncertainties, bodies, subjectivities, identities, narratives, medicines, symbolic healing, patients and therapeutic journeys, lay and expert knowledge, medical practices, technologies and infrastructures. The aim of the course is to introduce the field of medical anthropology as part of the overall study of culture and society.

Education

Board of Studies, Department of Anthropology

Learning outcome

Knowledge

  • Identify central anthropological approaches to studying health, illness and healing in human societies and reflect on the differences between them

  • Describe illness experience, health practices, health technologies and health systems in different contexts and in cross-cultural settings

 

Skills

  • Present key anthropological arguments and concepts in course readings

  • Use anthropological concepts to present ethnographic case material

 

Competences

  • Recognize how cultural values, social situations and relations shape understandings of and responses to the challenges of health and illness

The course consists of lectures, seminars and exercises based on in depth reading of ethnographic texts on health, illness and healing across a range of human societies. Students are expected to engage actively in oral presentations, discussions, group work and exercises.

BSc students and MSc students: 500 pages obligatory literature

The teacher will publish 200-300 pages of supplementary literature.

Course literature will be available through Absalon.


 

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Students will receive feedback after each exercise during the interactive seminars.

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio
Length: Portfolio exam can be written individually or in groups of Max. 4 students. Portfolio exams consist of 2-7 submissions. For MA students, there is a submission more than for BA students, i.e. if the BA student has to submit five submissions, the MA students must submit six submissions. The number of submissions is set by the lecturer. The total length of all of the submissions must be max. 30,000 keystrokes for one student. For groups of two students, Max. 40,000 keystrokes. For groups of three students, Max. 45,000 keystrokes and for groups of four students, Max. 50,000 keystrokes. In the case of group assignments, the contribution of each individual student must be clearly marked in the assignment. For groups with both BA and MA students, the same number of submissions is required as for MA students. The assignments are assessed jointly with a single grade.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See description of learning outcome. Formalities for Written Works must be fulfilled, read more: MSc Students/ BA students (in Danish)/ exchange and credit students

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 96
  • Practical exercises
  • 25
  • Seminar
  • 42
  • Study Groups
  • 28
  • Exam Preparation
  • 16
  • English
  • 207