In this programme you will have a comprehensive introduction to the anthropology of health. Initial modules will allow you to study the diverse ideas and practice in healthcare, and how these impact on individual and community formation. For example, how do new reproductive technologies impact on notions of kinship within a family and community? How do different medical systems within a community relate to each other? How do organ transplants influence concepts of personhood and the self?
You will also study, through a selection of case studies, the idea of health, wellbeing and illness as states within a continuous process, using the idea of a life-cycle as a model. This module will investigate the ways in which people strive to lead healthy and fulfilling lives and respond to episodes of ill-health and unease. It places medical issues in a context of people’s quest for continuity and their struggles to cope with uncertainty.
Other modules on the course will cover topics such as sociocultural/biological/evolutionary concepts of health; mental and environmental health; food/nutrition; leisure and wellbeing; arts health; and disability. You will also explore lifecycles to understand health issues such as: birth to death, reproduction, ageing and the body, in/fertility, new reproductive technologies, life history narrative, childhood, puberty, rites of passage.
You will undertake an extended piece of original research showing a sustained engagement with an issue in the anthropology of health. It is supported by supervision and is the culmination of the MRes Anthropology of Health programme. This dissertation is supported by the preparation of a policy document or paper for publication.