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Anth147+SYLLABUS+Spring+2012+Final (1)

Anth147+SYLLABUS+Spring+2012+Final (1) - Anthropology 147...

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Anthropology 147 Comparative Healing Systems Dr. M. Rivkin-Fish SPRING 2012 Office: 305A Alumni Building Office Hours: Thurs. 10:45- 12 noon & by appt Phone: 962-3353 (best to email) Email: [email protected] (see instructions below for appropriate use of email) Teaching Assistants: Brittany Chamberlain Office: 410 B Alumni Office hours: Th 11-12 Sections: 602, 605, 606 Email: [email protected] Anna Kushkova Office: 410 B Alumni Office Hours: M 1:30-2:30 Sections: 601.603, 604 Email: [email protected] COURSE DESCRIPTION People all over the world experience illness, but their understandings of the causes of affliction and approaches for restoring health differ enormously. This course examines the social, cultural, historical, and political-economic dimensions of health, illness, and healing. Through a variety of case studies, we will learn about the ways medical anthropologists study disease etiology, the experience of suffering, and the social organization of health care. Western medicine, also called “biomedicine,” will also be an object of our analysis. We will investigate the ways “biological facts” are shaped by the cultural and social organization of Western society, and explore the ways that the delivery of biomedical health care services involves particular understandings of the body and appropriate social relationships. Emphasis will also be placed on the ways historical processes of colonialism, structural inequalities, and the circulation of new technologies impact the meanings and practices of health and disease. The course aims to teach students to think about health, disease, and medicine in cross-cultural and global terms. COURSE GOALS : Upon completion of ANTH 147, the student should be able to: 1) Demonstrate knowledge of the global diversity of cultural understandings about health, illness, the body, and systems of healing affliction. 2) Explain some of the ways biomedicine is shaped by Western cultural ideas and the specific contexts in which it is practiced. 3) Understand how practitioners of health development and clinical medicine often encounter clashes between their cultural knowledge and the cultural knowledge of those they seek to help, and describe anthropological approaches to addressing such challenges. REQUIRED BOOKS: There are 3 required books for the course, and one recommended textbook. These are available for purchase at the Student Stores bookshop. If you decide not to purchase the recommended textbook, you can access the required readings from it on Blackboard. Required: Mulcahy, Joanne. 2001. Birth and Rebirth on an Alaskan Island . University of Georgia Press. 1
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Lindquist, Galina. 2006. Conjuring Hope: Healing and Magic in Contemporary Russia . Bergham Books. Fadiman, Anne. 1997. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures . Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
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