ANTH 472 Case Studies in Medical Anthropology and Global Health
Class Meetings: M, W, F 12:30-1:50 Location: Raitt 116
Condon 510A Phone: (206) 543-9607 Condon 514 Phone: (206) 543-4793
Office hours by arrangement with instructor Office hours by arrangement with instructor
Why have major medical advances resulted in limited improvements in global health? Why are there massive gaps in population health around the world – between rich and poor within countries, and between wealthy and low-income nations? What are the most pressing health concerns, and how are health intervention priorities determined? What is the role of globalization – the movement of information, people, goods and money around the word – in reducing or, in some instances, magnifying the burden of disease?
Increasingly the challenges facing global health have come to be understood as linked biological and social problems requiring creative and innovative solutions that extend beyond the clinical setting. Recognizing that “health” is not determined solely by health care services, it becomes apparent that a multidisciplinary approach is urgently needed to understand the broader biological, sociopolitical, historical and cultural context of disease. The goal of this course is to take a critical approach – one that appreciates disciplinary perspectives, as well as the need for interdisciplinary collaboration - in order to effectively address complex global health concerns. The combination of diverse research perspectives found within the fields of medical anthropology and global health shed light on the way that health problems, health inequalities, and health systems are shaped by and reflect specific sociocultural, economic and political contexts and change over time.
This seminar uses a problem-based, case-study approach that, by bringing together medical anthropology and global health perspectives, emphasizes the role of multidisciplinary collaboration. Students will consider the case studies and be exposed to legal, ethical, social and policy analyses of the issues and possible solutions incumbent in a given case study. Students will develop an ability to delve deeply into the underlying causes of select global health problems, research and study the problem from different perspectives, and work together to posit possible solutions.