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ANTH716 – Culture, Illness and Healing

2017 – S1 Evening

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Lecturer
Kevin Groark
Contact via (02) 9850 8110
Building W6A, Room 618
Wednesdays 4-5pm, or by appointment
Payel Ray
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit examines the cultural, socio-economic, and political dimensions of disease and health. Notions of disease causality and healing practices vary enormously across societies, and an understanding of the dynamics of these factors is crucial not only for theoretical advancement, but also for applied intervention in the field of international public health. In addition to surveying the key conceptual developments in the field of medical anthropology, we look at how anthropological perspectives and methods can be used in applied settings (for example, to improve communication between health practitioners and patients). We also explore issues in critical medical anthropology, such as: How do global inequalities and violence affect health in developing countries? What larger social transformations accompany the rise of biomedicine, including recent biomedical technologies? And how might medical anthropology shape global health policies and interventions.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Introduce students to the scope of medical anthropology and to analyse and discus the literature and central theories related to medical anthropology and the broader study of illness and healing practices in their social and cultural contexts.
  2. Understand how biology, culture, politics, and ecology interact to shape illness and health, health systems, and patterns.
  3. Interview, analyse, and represent the illness experience of another person, emphasizing the integrative factors (culture, politics, social structure, etc.) influencing their condition.
  4. Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  5. To understand how healing systems often cut across categories of religion, medicine, and social organization.
  6. To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  7. Understand and identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Participation 20% Weekly
Midterm - Short Essays 35% See Unit Guide
Final - Short Essays 35% See Unit Guide
Discussion Facilitation 10% Assigned First Meeting

Participation

Due: Weekly
Weighting: 20%

Active attendance and engagement with discussions and a discussion guide based on the readings will be turned in at the conclusion of each class


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Introduce students to the scope of medical anthropology and to analyse and discus the literature and central theories related to medical anthropology and the broader study of illness and healing practices in their social and cultural contexts.
  • Understand how biology, culture, politics, and ecology interact to shape illness and health, health systems, and patterns.
  • Interview, analyse, and represent the illness experience of another person, emphasizing the integrative factors (culture, politics, social structure, etc.) influencing their condition.
  • Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  • To understand how healing systems often cut across categories of religion, medicine, and social organization.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  • Understand and identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

Midterm - Short Essays

Due: See Unit Guide
Weighting: 35%

A set of short essay questions (~500 - 700) words each.  Details to be provided.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Introduce students to the scope of medical anthropology and to analyse and discus the literature and central theories related to medical anthropology and the broader study of illness and healing practices in their social and cultural contexts.
  • Understand how biology, culture, politics, and ecology interact to shape illness and health, health systems, and patterns.
  • Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  • To understand how healing systems often cut across categories of religion, medicine, and social organization.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  • Understand and identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

Final - Short Essays

Due: See Unit Guide
Weighting: 35%

A set of short essay questions (~500 - 700) words each.  Details to be provided.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Introduce students to the scope of medical anthropology and to analyse and discus the literature and central theories related to medical anthropology and the broader study of illness and healing practices in their social and cultural contexts.
  • Understand how biology, culture, politics, and ecology interact to shape illness and health, health systems, and patterns.
  • Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  • To understand how healing systems often cut across categories of religion, medicine, and social organization.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  • Understand and identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

Discussion Facilitation

Due: Assigned First Meeting
Weighting: 10%

Facilitating two seminar session discussions along with a co-faciliator.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  • To understand how healing systems often cut across categories of religion, medicine, and social organization.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  • Understand and identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

Delivery and Resources

Please access the offical and final version of the unit guide via iLearn.

The course convener will use the first half of the seminar to introduce concepts, provide background information or examples, or offer an overview of the key issues under discussion. The second half of the seminar will be devoted to discussing the issues and readings.

Seminar attendance and participation are mandatory.  Students are expected to be active participants and demonstrate that they have actively engaged the readings and material presented.

All other required readings will be available electronically on iLearn. 

Unit Schedule

Please access the final and official schedule via the unit guide link in iLearn

Learning and Teaching Activities

1

Seminar participation and discussion

2

Interview and interview analysis

3

Essay writing

4

Critical engagement with readings

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Introduce students to the scope of medical anthropology and to analyse and discus the literature and central theories related to medical anthropology and the broader study of illness and healing practices in their social and cultural contexts.
  • Understand how biology, culture, politics, and ecology interact to shape illness and health, health systems, and patterns.
  • Interview, analyse, and represent the illness experience of another person, emphasizing the integrative factors (culture, politics, social structure, etc.) influencing their condition.
  • Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  • To understand how healing systems often cut across categories of religion, medicine, and social organization.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  • Understand and identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

Assessment tasks

  • Participation
  • Midterm - Short Essays
  • Final - Short Essays
  • Discussion Facilitation

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Interview, analyse, and represent the illness experience of another person, emphasizing the integrative factors (culture, politics, social structure, etc.) influencing their condition.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.

Assessment tasks

  • Participation
  • Midterm - Short Essays
  • Final - Short Essays
  • Discussion Facilitation

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Introduce students to the scope of medical anthropology and to analyse and discus the literature and central theories related to medical anthropology and the broader study of illness and healing practices in their social and cultural contexts.
  • Understand how biology, culture, politics, and ecology interact to shape illness and health, health systems, and patterns.
  • Interview, analyse, and represent the illness experience of another person, emphasizing the integrative factors (culture, politics, social structure, etc.) influencing their condition.
  • Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  • To understand how healing systems often cut across categories of religion, medicine, and social organization.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  • Understand and identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

Assessment tasks

  • Midterm - Short Essays
  • Final - Short Essays
  • Discussion Facilitation

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Introduce students to the scope of medical anthropology and to analyse and discus the literature and central theories related to medical anthropology and the broader study of illness and healing practices in their social and cultural contexts.
  • Understand how biology, culture, politics, and ecology interact to shape illness and health, health systems, and patterns.
  • Interview, analyse, and represent the illness experience of another person, emphasizing the integrative factors (culture, politics, social structure, etc.) influencing their condition.
  • Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  • To understand how healing systems often cut across categories of religion, medicine, and social organization.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  • Understand and identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

Assessment tasks

  • Participation
  • Midterm - Short Essays
  • Final - Short Essays
  • Discussion Facilitation

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Interview, analyse, and represent the illness experience of another person, emphasizing the integrative factors (culture, politics, social structure, etc.) influencing their condition.
  • Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  • Understand and identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Interview, analyse, and represent the illness experience of another person, emphasizing the integrative factors (culture, politics, social structure, etc.) influencing their condition.
  • To understand how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.

Assessment tasks

  • Participation
  • Discussion Facilitation