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About Study Course

Credit points / ECTS:2 / 0
Course supervisor:Anna Žabicka
Study type:Full time
Course level:Master's
Target audience:Sociology; Social Anthropology
Branch of science:Sociology; Social Anthropology


The aim of study the course is to provide knowledge and skills for discussing the changing understandings, practices, and experiences of health, disease, and medicine and their interaction with the socio-cultural, economic, and political settings.


Preferred prior knowledge in classical and modern theories of anthropology. Ability to read academic articles in English.

Learning outcomes


Students are familiar with diverse subfields of medical anthropology and understand how anthropology provides methodological and conceptual frameworks beyond biomedicine that help to assess the experience of diseases and disorders, as well as the epistemological dimensions of disease categories. Students understand the impact of inequality on health and access to health care, colonial development of anthropology and biomedicine, and current relations between medicine and politics. Students know and are familiar with issues such as health inequalities, the social nature of diseases, equity in health care, biological citizenship, and biopolitics.


Explain how health and disease are affected by the individual, social, political and cultural dimensions, comparing and contrasting specific cases, based on the literature read and reviewed in the course.
Describe specific contexts and situations in which concepts such as embodiment, social suffering, adequacy/resistance can help us to understand the experience and course of illness and treatment.
Formulate the ways in which medical knowledge and practice work on different scales (individual, family, local, global).
Analytically read high-quality academic social science literature, which covers topics such as health, medicine, disease, inequality and political economy.
Verbally and in writing express a reasoned, example-based view of issues related to health, medicine, and political economy.


Students are able to competently judge and discuss the social, cultural, global/local political and economic processes that affect and shape health and disease. Students are competent to discuss the relationship between health, medicine, and political economy, understanding the impact of inequality and discrimination on health, as well as understanding the controversial historical development of biomedicine.

Study course planning

Planning period:Year 2023, Autumn semester
Study programmeStudy semesterProgram levelStudy course categoryLecturersSchedule
Social Anthropology, SAM2Master’sLimited choiceAnna Žabicka