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Mad, Bad, Sad: Cross Cultural Perspectives - ANTH224

How do cultures in different parts of the world determine and understand who is mad, bad or sad? Madness, deviance and other forms of social difference are cultural constructs that vary considerably across both historical period and cultural context. Moreover, these ideas have profound moral implications that become dramatically entwined with people's lived experience, as well as broader socio-political structures. In this unit, we examine the cultural and social construction of normality, with a focus on what happens when people find themselves outside these bounds. Working from both a comparative perspective and an analytic position moving between social structures and individual experience and meaning, examining themes such as 'sanity', mental illness and culture, melancholy and depression, emotions, sexuality, gender norms, and their transgressions. Throughout, we will focus on the social processes of labeling, representation, medicalisation, and stigmatisation associated with these experiences. Ultimately, students will come to understand understand how difference is constructed and embodied, and become aware of how deviance is surveilled, managed, and constrained in a variety of cultural contexts.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S1 Day - Session 1, North Ryde, Day

S1 Online - Session 1, Online

Staff Contact(s): Dr Kevin Groark

(12cp at 100 level or above) or ANTH106 or ANTH150 or admission to GDipArts  Prerequisite Information


Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Anthropology

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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