ANTHRCUL 356 - Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology
Winter 2022, Section 001 - "In Sickness and in Health:" Medical Anthropologies of Kinship, Relatedness, and the Human
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: Anthropology, Cultural (ANTHRCUL)
Department: LSA Anthropology
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Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/5/22 - 4/19/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


In times of uncertainty, crises, and misfortune, people tend to lean on their close kin and familiar networks for help, care, and support. This is especially true when governments lag behind in reaching out to their most vulnerable citizens.  Medical anthropology, a flourishing branch of Anthropology, has continued to provide great insights on how these relationships and networks are detrimental to the physical health of individuals and communities.

“In Sickness and in Health,” surveys  important shifts and turns in medical anthropologists’ attempt to situate these intimate relations of care and support in old and new kinship studies, providing critique of old paradigms and suggesting new ways of deepening our understanding of complex local and global socio-economic and political relationships. These recent shifts include methodological directions that take the intersection of gender, race, and class seriously in our analysis of health, sickness, and social well-being. Most importantly, these recent shifts push us in new directions that transcend immediate blood ties to incorporate friendship bonds, the global family, and our contentious dealings with the environment. The latter emphasis highlights environmental racist practices and their impact on the wellbeing of marginal communities.

These new directions are certainly useful in helping us think about human relations beyond biology and genetics to include new transformations in the meaning of humanity and relatedness brought about by new reproductive technologies, climate change, new pandemics, and our desire to widen our social networks and think about more inclusive futurist agendas. Medical Anthropology’s new trends also push us to ask the most important question:  how much of these new transformations in social relations are really new, and how much of them continue to reproduce old colonial and postcolonial paradigms that ignore gender, race and class relationships?

This is the major question we will attempt to address during the course of this seminar.    


ANTHRCUL 356 - Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
1/5/22 - 4/19/22

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