HUMN 3044 Healing and Culture

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101716

Coordinator Cristina Rocha Opens in new window

Description This subject takes as its starting point the idea that disease has social and cultural as well as biological origins. What people define as good health and illness, and how they treat the latter are profoundly shaped by cultural frameworks. Healing practices, including biomedicine, are underpinned by cultural understandings and larger configurations of power. We will examine notions of disease causality across cultures and explore the argument that good and ill health are about more than just the body. Popular understandings of illness and its origins, and techniques for responding to and seeking to remedy illness can be a reflection of how different societies imagine their place in the world.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Studies in Human Society, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Incompatible Subjects LGYA 0933 - Special Topics in Cultural and Social Analysis


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Think critically about the connections between health, illness, healing and culture
  2. Communicate and research effectively
  3. Explain the role of global power relations in international health
  4. Critically engage in debates around Western, Complementary and Traditional medicines.
  5. Have an elementary understanding of medical anthropology theory
  6. Develop problem-solving skills by applying and adapting anthropological knowledge to real world problems.

Subject Content

1. Social construction of illness
2. Medicalisation and Biopower
3. Alternative healing systems and biomedicine
4. Religion and healing
5. Healing and globalisation
6. Medical tourism
7. Spiritual tourism
8. Traffic of body parts
9. International health
10. Migration and health

Prescribed Texts

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