ASS206 - Medical Anthropology


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online, CBD*

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125




Incompatible with:


Study commitment

Students will on average spend-150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

 1 x 1-hour class per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud (online)

1 x 1-hour class per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


*CBD refers to the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute; Community Based Delivery


The study of human knowledge systems in the area of health and illness lies at the heart of anthropology as a whole. Medical anthropology is thus pivotal to the discipline and is also a major point of articulation between anthropology and other sciences. In this unit, students will learn key concepts and approaches in medical anthropology through the study of a spectrum of traditions of healing and embodiment, 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 them, students will examine health and healing from a cross-cultural, “biosocial” perspective. Fundamental concepts such as the division between mind and body, the social construction of disease, culture-bound syndromes, and structural violence will be examined. Special emphasis is given to the relationship between health, disease, systems of power, and disparities in wealth and resources.

Unit Fee Information

Click on the fee link below which describes you: