754 Medical Anthropology: Global Perspectives

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level

Module overview

This module provides an introduction to the perspectives and practices of medical anthropology. It offers insights into the evolution of modern medicine in relation to institutional, cultural, and ethical discourses. The key aim is to engage in a cultural critique of bioscientific and biomedical assumptions, while also upholding a serious engagement with biomedical knowledge/mindsets in order to explore what they can offer anthropology. 

We will discuss topics such as medicalization, social construction, subjectivity, and biopolitics; in order to familiarize students with anthropological debates on how biotechnological developments have transformed individuals and communities and the way they experience life and health. By introducing students to medical anthropology’s theoretical framework and ethnographies, the module will underscore phenomenological perspectives as well as analyses of the political economy of health. We will also pay attention to the epistemological and ethical issues that arise from techno-scientific development and cultural shifts. Students will be asked to consider these debates to engage with current affairs, pandemics, epidemic, conflicts, and global conditions pertaining to health and justice. A strong cross-cultural and comparative approach informs this module, manifest in our engagement with ethnographic and theoretical contributions from the so-called Global South. 


Compulsory module for all students on:

  • MA Medical Anthropology and Mental Health

Guided option for students on:

  • MA Anthropology of Global Futures and Sustainability
  • MRes Social Anthropology
  • MRes Social Anthropology + Intensive Language

This module is also a School-wide Open Option. No prerequisites.

  • Note: May be taken in combination with either 753 Mind, Culture and Psychiatry or 755 Anthropological Approaches to the Body and Embodiment , but not both. Combination of all three open only to students on the MA Medical Anthropology and Mental Health and the MRes Social Anthropology.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules