Bodies, Health, Disease

"Bodies, Health, Disease" Course Cluster

The concepts of ‘health’ and ‘disease’ are usually thought of as fairly unproblematic and ‘natural’ descriptions of bodily states. As a number of courses explore, though, what constitutes health and/or disease are always biological and psychological, as well as social and cultural questions. Health and disease are categories that are constantly in flux, constructed through a variety of processes that challenge assumptions about ‘the natural’ and tell us much about the concerns of their social contexts.

What kinds of bodies and bodily phenomena have been designated as illnesses/diseases/pathologies—and how? How have categories of health and disease been associated with social status and power relations of all kinds? What is gained by coming to see health and disease as the subjects of much debate, rather than simply natural states of bodies? How do we negotiate these questions alongside of the concern for health and disease as biological and physiological ‘realities’ of people’s lives?

  • DSJS 412: Theories of the Body
  • Anth 401 (DSJS 401): Medical Anthropology
  • Hist 333: Healthcare and North American Society in Historical Perspective
  • Hist 434: Madness and Society
  • Psy 393: Health Psychology
  • Soc 412: Sociology of Health