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ANT 4462 Culture and Medicine

Dr. Connie Mulligan

In this online course, we examine health and disease in a cross-cultural context. We are living in a time of unprecedented global change and access to big data that allow us to examine and critique the factors that both improve and worsen health. Anthropology enhances a purely medical approach to health and diseaseas demonstratedthrough cross-cultural comparisons and specific ethnographic examples. In this course, we use literature, videos, and discussion to examine the cultural construction and organization of diverse health systems, how cultural, biological, behavioral, political, and economic factors impact health, and the role of the anthropologist in transformations of contemporary Western health systems. Specific topics include the effect of social determinants, climate change, reproduction, and globalization on physical and mental health. Students will engage in weekly discussion boards as well as develop a semester-long research project focused on a topic of their own choosing. Former students have researched the impact of alternative medicine, the stigma associated with mental illness, anthropological contributions to advances in public health, and the factors associated with racial health disparities. Knowledge and application of the subject matter is further enhanced through weekly quizzes and video or short answer assignments.