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ASS706 - Poverty, Health and Illness

Unit details

Year2016 unit information
Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit chair:R Kapferer
Contact hours:

Learning experiences are via CloudDeakin.


The study of human knowledge systems in the area of health and illness lies at the heart of anthropology as a whole. Anthropologists seek a holistic understanding of what constitutes health and illness in various societies, belief about the workings and causes of disease, approaches to remedies and cures, understandings of the body, the role of economic, political, spiritual and other social factors in relation to the health of individuals and societies. Appreciating the diversity of approaches to health and illness is key to the role of medical anthropologists and this branch of the discipline forms a major point of articulation between anthropology and other sciences. In this unit, students will learn and critique key concepts and approaches in medical anthropology, as well as anthropological debates in the field, through both the study of non-western medical knowledge systems as well as the study of western medicine, or biomedicine, as a distinctive cultural system. Through detailed case studies of different medical phenomena and how humans act in relation to these phenomena, students will examine health and healing from a cross-cultural perspective. Special emphasis is given to studying developing world contexts where disparities in wealth and resources impact upon health.


Short Essay (40%), Research Essay (60%)

Unit Fee Information

All Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), fee paying undergraduate and pre-2016 commencing students

Unit fee information available soon

2016 commencing International and full fee paying postgraduate domestic students

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