PubH185Fall2011DRAFT1B (2)

PubH185Fall2011DRAFT1B (2) - Department of Prevention and...

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Department of Prevention and Community Health PubH 2113.10 Fall 2011 Impact of Culture on Health T & Th, 11:00 – 12:15PM, Ross Hall 116 Preliminary Syllabus Instructor : Mark Edberg, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Prevention and Community Health School of Public Health and Health Services Joint Appointment, Department of Anthropology The George Washington University Contact Information: Office: 2175 K Street, NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20037 Telephone: 202-530-2330 FAX: 202-416-0433 E-mail: medberg@gwu.edu or sphmce@gwumc.edu Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-4:30pm or by appointment Course Description and Purpose : The term culture has increasingly been used in the discourse of public health, for example, with respect to issues of health disparities in the U.S., the development and implementation of “culturally competent” or “culturally appropriate” programs, and in many other ways. What exactly is culture, however? The term is easily applied to all kinds of phenomena, without a critical look at the nature of, and role of culture as an aspect of human behavior. In this course we will examine what is meant by culture, the ways in which culture intersects with health issues, how public health efforts (domestic and global) can benefit by understanding and working with cultural processes, and we will take a brief look at research methods that are useful in identifying relationships between culture and health. During the course, we will examine three health issues in more depth regarding their cultural factors and implications: HIV/AIDS, youth violence (now viewed as a public health problem), and obesity. Prerequisites: N/A Course Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to: 1
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1) Explain the concept of culture as one framework for human behavior, including health behavior. This will be assessed in the Midterm. 2) Explain specific domains where culture and health intersect: definitions of health/well- being; illness causation and treatment theories (ethnomedical systems); social constructions of illness and stigma; the role of social and political ecologies in shaping cultural responses; cross cultural ideas about care and treatment; gender and health; different understandings about what is a “health risk”; and the issue of “cultural competency.” This will be assessed in the Midterm and in the Spirit Paper. 3) Over a selection of cases and program examples, across several health issues, analyze the ways in which the highlighted health problems and health interventions were impacted by cultural factors. This will be assessed in the Spirit Paper and Second Exam. 4) Describe research methods that focus on obtaining “cultural data” and how they are used. This will be assessed in the Second Exam and in the Program Paper. 5) Apply the knowledge gained in the course concerning the culture-health relationship
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PubH185Fall2011DRAFT1B (2) - Department of Prevention and...

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