ANTH-160 : Anthropology of Health and Healing

Course Information

Course, prefix, number, & title: ANTH-160 Anthropology of Health and Healing

Hours (Class, recitation, Laboratory, studio): 3 class hours

Credits: 3

Pre-requisites (if any): (or Co-requisite:) Students must complete any developmental requirements in English (see Proficiency in Math and English) prior to taking this course or enroll in ENGL-101 and BE-102 at the same time as this course

Course Description in college catalog:

This course offers an overview of health, illness and healing in cross-cultural perspective. Topics covered include cultural interpretations of health and illness, traditional healing practices, and important global health concerns. Students will become acquainted with medical anthropology methods and will learn anthropological approaches to solving health-related problems, including an examination of the ways social status, cultural meanings and economic inequalities influence health and illness. The course draws primarily on work from the fields of medical anthropology, sociology and public health but will also turn to more exploratory modes such as memoirs and expressive writing to gain a deeper, more personal understanding of the meaning and experience of health and illness in individual lives.

Academic programs for which this course serves as a requirement or an elective:

A.A. Liberal Arts and Sciences

A.S. Liberal Arts and Sciences (Mathematics and Science)

General Education Outcomes: Below is a listing of General Education Outcome(s) that this course supports.

  1. Communicate effectively in various forms

  2. Reason quantitatively as required in various fields of interest and in everyday life

  3. Use historical or social sciences perspectives to examine formation of ideas, human behavior, social institutions, or social processes.

Course-specific student learning outcomes:

1. Students will understand medical anthropology text effectively through readings in the textbook and ancillary documents and articles on the socio-cultural context of health and healing practices across the globe.  Students will gather and evaluate ethnographic data on health and healing practices as part of a course-long ethnographic research project. 

2. Students will critically evaluate anthropological theories and research on health and healing in cross-cultural perspective during their weekly reading responses and as part of their class participation.  In small groups, students will discuss and evaluate case studies and ethnographic research in the field of medical anthropology.

3. Students will construct weekly response papers about key topics in medical anthropology.  In these responses, students will present summaries of research findings and will identify the arguments and evidence presented in the research studies they read about. Students will regularly discuss and debate key issues and problems encountered during medical anthropology research and will support their arguments will evidence from the readings.   

4. Students will identify and apply key concepts from medical anthropological research in the cross-cultural study of individuals and society. Students will apply the methods of medical anthropology to understand how the relationship of individual and society differs across a broad range of cultures and societies. 

5. Through medical anthropology texts on a wide variety of cultures and societies, students will understand how society and social rank influence an individual’s experiences, values and choices. Through their own ethnographic research projects, students will explore their own health decisions and reflect on the ways these decisions are informed by socio-economic structures and cultural values. 

6. Students will evaluate ethical views on health and illness from a cross-cultural perspective. Students will learn how to understand the development of ethical views, values and practices from a historical and cultural perspective.

7. Students will apply medical ethnographic research and texts to understand and respond to contemporary health issues. Students will understand the ethical issues connected with ethnographic research and will be able to identify sound ethnographic methods Students will understand how to apply ethnographic methods and data ethically in response to social issues and health problems

8. Through cross-cultural readings in medical anthropology, students will gain an understanding of the impact local, national and global trends can have on individual and collective choices and decision-making abilities. 

Methods by which student learning will be assessed and evaluated; describe the types of methods to be employed; note whether certain methods are required for all sections:

Students in this course are evaluated on the basis of exams, written assignments, and class participation.  Students will write informal Reading Responses about the course readings on Blackboard and will write a formal ethnographic project in which they will engage in a series of ethnographic exercises, including an assessment of their own health practices, a survey of family health practices, two observations of a health practice, participation in a health practice, and final reflection. The grading scale is based on a point system:

Participation 26 points (2 points per class)

Reading Responses 30 points (10 required at 3 points each)

Ethnography Project 60 points (6 parts at 10 points each)

Quizzes 30 points (3 at 10 points each)

Midterm (30 points)

Final 60 points

Academic Integrity policy (department or College):
Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any violation of academic integrity is taken extremely seriously. All assignments and projects must be the original work of the student or teammates. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any questions regarding academic integrity should be brought to the attention of the instructor. The following is the Queensborough Community College Policy on Academic Integrity: "It is the official policy of the College that all acts or attempted acts that are violations of Academic Integrity be reported to the Office of Student Affairs. At the faculty member's discretion and with the concurrence of the student or students involved, some cases though reported to the Office of Student Affairs may be resolved within the confines of the course and department. The instructor has the authority to adjust the offender's grade as deemed appropriate, including assigning an F to the assignment or exercise or, in more serious cases, an F to the student for the entire course." Read the University's policy on Academic Integrity opens in a new window(PDF).

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based upon the impact of a disability should contact the office of Services for Students with Disabilities in Science Building, Room S-132, 718-631-6257, to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You can visit the Services for Students with Disabilities website.

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center (KHC)Opens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art GalleryOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.