The Anthropology of Global Health

Module Title: The Anthropology of Global Health, Word Limit: 2,500 words
Answer the following question
Use ethnographic examples to illustrate your answer.

1. What can rumours surrounding public health campaigns tell us about the wider context in which these campaigns take place?
Learning outcomes and assessment

1. To understand the differences and similarities in the theories and methods employed by epidemiologists, biosocial anthropologists and critical medical anthropologists in the study of inequality, disease and illness.
2. To analyse and critique the re-configuration of institutions involved in global health policy and the consequences that this is having for the health of populations
3. Draw upon the approaches employed by critical medical anthropologists, clinically applied medical anthropologists and biosocial anthropologists to analyse the construction of contemporary global health problems such as the HIV pandemic
4. Understand and apply anthropological concepts, anthropological methods and the explanations they make possible and use ethnographic evidence in relation to explanation.
5. Work independently to write a critically reflective essay.

Academic journals that publish articles relevant to many aspects of this module include:

Cultural Anthropology
Current Anthropology
American Ethnologist
Journal of Biosocial Science
Medical Anthropology
Medical Anthropology Quarterly
Social Science and Medicine
Online Sources
A great deal of excellent material is available online

An overview of social inequality
The UC Atlas of Global Inequality:
Movement for global mental health:
Partners in Health: Providing a preferential option for the poor in health care:
UNICEF reports on the State of the World’s Children:
World Health Organization:
WHO’s provides a health situation analysis of WHO’s African Region online at:

Useful websites on Ebola Viral Disease
Ebola response anthropology platform:
World Health Organization:

Essential reading
CSDH (2008). Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social
determinants of health. Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health.
Geneva, World Health Organization. Freely available at:

Farmer P 1999. Infections and inequalities: the modern plagues. Berkeley: Univ of California Press.

Janes C.R and Corbett K.K 2009. Anthropology and global health. Annual Review Anthropology 38: 167-83

Last M 1999. Understanding Health. In: Culture and Global Change, pp: 70-83. Edited by T.Skelton and T.Allen. London: Routledge.
Leach M 2015. The Ebola Crisis and Post 2015-Development. Journal of International Development, Vol. 27 (6) pp. 816-835

Leatherman T 2005. A space of vulnerability in poverty and health: political ecology and biocultural analysis. Ethos 33 (1): 46-70.

American Anthropologist
American Ethnologist

Anthropology and Medicine
Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Current Anthropology
Global Public Health
International Journal of Health Services
Journal of Health and Social Behaviour
Medical Anthropology
Medical Anthropology Quarterly
Social Science and Medicine
Sociology of Health and Illness

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