ANTH 204 - Medical Anthropology

An introduction to various approaches toward health and illness in different cultural systems, and the interrelationship between health, environment, and culture.


Credits: 3


Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours 3)


Total Weeks: 15


ANTH 101 or ANTH 102


Non-Course Prerequisites:


Co-requisite Statement:


Course Content:
The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the concepts of health and disease and their relationship to the environment and cultural systems. The course introduces students to the ecological and environmental factors associated with health and nutrition. Drawing from recent anthropological perspectives and the interdisciplinary research in health issues, the course examines the diverse ways individuals and cultural systems perceive, define and maintain health.
- Introduction to the course: What is Medical Anthropology?
- The ecology of health and disease
- Research in health problems
- Genes, culture, and adaptation
- Changing patterns of birth and death
- Infectious disease; Ecology and economics of nutrition
- The ecology and economics of nutrition
- Race, Ethnicity, and Class
- The health of women
- Health resources in changing cultures
- Age, ableness, and lifestyle
- The costs and benefits of development
- Conclusion
The classes will primarily follow a lecture format, interspersed with group/class discussions, small group activities, and occasional videos. (Video-Conferencing equipment will be utilized.)


Learning Outcomes:

This course intends to improve students' ability to read critically, to evaluate and analyze the available perspectives about human health according to a holistic approach, and to apply them to their own social experiences. The primary goal of the course is to inspire students to use the principles of what they have learned to form coherent opinions about their own social lives, and the shape and the future of the Canadian society as a whole. As part of the learning procedures, the students are required to be involved in peer group discussions,classroom discussions, and reviews. Therefore, participation consists of attendance, as well as completing the readings and in-class assignments (such as writing minute papers) and being prepared to give a brief summary of assigned readings, and being able to offer some sort of evaluation of them. To this end, students should expect to prepare careful notes on the readings before coming to class. Note: 1% will be deducted from overall 10% of class participation mark for each session that a student may miss. Attendance and active participation is therefore strongly advised.


Grading System: Letters


Passing Grade: D (50%)


Textbooks: Textbooks are subject to change. Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.