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Swarthmore College    
College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  Jan 19, 2018
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

ANTH 043E. Culture, Health, Illness

People in all societies encounter and manage sickness. Yet, there are diverse and unique approaches to understanding and managing health and disease. The human experience of sickness entails a complex interplay between biological, socio-economic and cultural factors. This course offers an introduction to medical anthropology, and draws upon social, cultural, biological, and linguistic anthropology to better understand those factors which influence health and well being (broadly defined), the experience and distribution of illness, the prevention and treatment of sickness, healing processes, the social relations of therapy management, and the cultural importance and use of pluralistic medical systems. Topics covered include how beliefs about health, disease and the body are constructed and transmitted, how healers are chosen and trained, social disparities in health and illness, and the importance of narrative and performance in the effectiveness of healing practices. Finally, we will consider the ways in which medical anthropology can shed light upon important contemporary medical and social concerns.
Theory course.
Social sciences.
1 credit.
Fall 2017. Schuetze.
Catalog chapter: Sociology and Anthropology  
Department website:

Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses