The Anthropology of Health - Zefat Academic

The Anthropology of Health

The current Corona epidemic demands analytical tools for understanding and analyzing the phenomenon, - especially its social aspects, - which can provide students with a deeper understanding of the epidemic’s implications for Israeli and world society in the future. The course is designed to provide the student analytical tools that will enable him/her to make informed decisions about an increasingly uncertain future. Without going deeply into statistics, the student will learn how to understand and analyze statistics of morbidity and mortality.

The course begins with a brief discussion of social anthropology, its subject matter, research methodology and its ethical foundations. Studying the evolution of modern man explains some of the sociological bases of human behaviour, the development of human groups such as those based on kinship like the lineage and the clan), common interests, religious beliefs, peer and ethnic groups, and intra-neighbourhood relationships. The interaction of human physiology with these social variables can provide insights into how the spread of disease is influenced by sociological factors, which are sometimes forgotten by medical and strategic planners. A comparison of “traditional” or “non-Western” medicine and its health implications indicates that the traditional practices usually forgotten by western doctors and planners have potential benefits. Finally, the “doctor-patient” game will reveal some unexpected insights.

The course includes frontal lectures, class discussions, group presentations of relevant topics and anthropological films.

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