Medical anthropology assesses the influence of culture, society, and the natural environment on the body and human experiences of illness and health. This course will assess a broad range of issues that are currently being explored in medical anthropology in order to introduce you to some of the prominent debates in this field. It also will investigate healing practices and meanings attributed to health and illness in a variety of cultural and social settings. Topics that will be discussed include: 1) an examination of theoretical approaches to the anthropological study of illness and healing (biocultural, ecological, critical, political/economic, theories of the body…); 2) social control of the body through healing, science and biomedicine; 3) how gender and sexuality relate to health and illness; 4) ethnomedicine and health; 5) reproduction; 6) AIDS, TB, and Malaria and other infectious diseases; and 7) global health.
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Date: March 31, 2017
We will visit two hospitals while in Tema, Ghana. These two hospitals will allow students to directly observe differences in access to treatment and care for Ghanaian women in particular. These hospital visits will be especially elucidating in terms of treatment depending on which hospital one has access to. These visits will also be particularly informative of differences between the western medicine most students in the class are accustomed to and treatment modalities we will witness. Learning Objectives: 1. Compare patient treatment at two different hospitals 2. Determine and compare the differences in care between Ghanaian and American hospitals 3. Observe in particular maternal and child health care practices