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Illness and Healing - ANTH202

This unit offers an introduction to medical anthropology and cross-cultural beliefs relating to illness and healing. We consider different notions of disease causality and examine the proposition that good health, and conversely ill health, is never just about the body. Throughout the unit, we look at conditions of disease as having social as well as biological origins and take the point of view that ideas of health and methods of treating illness are deeply lodged in cultural frameworks. Thus we treat healing practices, including Western biomedicine, as inevitably predicated on cultural systems of understanding. How people understand illness and where it comes from, and what they do about it when it does occur, tells us a lot about how different societies understand people and their place in the world. Specific topics include: cross-cultural approaches to bodily and mental disorders; the social construction of illness; somatisation, placebos, and the role of symbolism in healing; shamanistic practices; emotions and embodiment; science and biomedicine; gender and health; alternative medicine; health promotion and regulation; and new infectious diseases.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

S2 External - Session 2, External (On-campus dates: None)

Staff Contact(s): Dr Kevin Groark

ANTH150 or 12cp or (admission to GDipArts or BHlth) Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): ANTH274
Unit Designation(s):


Unit Type: People unit
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Anthropology

Faculty of Arts

Timetable Information

For unit timetable information and session dates for external offerings please visit the Timetables@Macquarie Website.