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ANT2002 Culture, Illness and Health

Semester 1, 2022 Toowoomba On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 30 June 2022


Examiner: Lara Lamb


Unquestionably a basic concern of all humankind is its own health. The maintenance of wellness and the prevention of illness is crucial for individuals as well as for society as a whole. There is a continuing public debate and interest about health, and governments are increasingly involved as health becomes a major economic and political issue. As parents of the next generation and future leaders of the community, it is important that students be well informed, and provided with knowledge which will help them to place health issues in a broad human perspective. This is particularly the case given the unprecedented environmental demographic, social and political changes occurring both in the developed and developing world, and realizing the impact that such changes must have on health status and health care.

This course provides an overview of a wide range of factors which collectively determine individual and community health status. The perspective taken is predominantly biocultural focusing on human adaptations and human development and providing a cross- cultural and comparative framework for considering the health of our species as a whole. Most of the material discussed comes from the field of Human Biology and Medical Anthropology.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of a number of perspectives on health, covering a wide range of factors, biological, cultural, and environmental which collectively affect and determine the health status of individuals, and the health characteristics of human communities;
  2. demonstrate an awareness of the wide range of: (a) beliefs about health and disease; and (b) approaches to health maintenance and healing as exemplified in a number of cultures, past and present, western and non-western;
  3. demonstrate familiarity with modern western medical models, their institutions and practices as found in contemporary industrial urban society in general, and Australia in particular.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction 14.20
2. Methods 14.20
3. Ethics 14.20
4. Biocultural approaches 14.20
5. Cultural approaches 14.20
6. Applying medical anthropology 14.80
7. Conclusions 14.20

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Brown, PJ, Closser, S (eds) 2016, Understanding and applying medical anthropology, 3rd edn, Left Coast Press Inc, Walnut Creek, California.
Joralemon, D 2017, Exploring medical anthropology, 4th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Description Weighting (%)
MAJOR ESSAY (2500-3000 WDS) 40
Date printed 30 June 2022