Medical Anthro of HIV Aids

Term: Fall 2010

Subject Code: GANT

Course Number: 6403

This course will view the AIDS pandemic from a medical anthropological perspective. The readings will link the experience of individual suffering to larger political, social, and historical forces.  From the vantage point of the afflicted individual, illness and care are understood within particular cultural, moral, and social worlds.  However, illness can introduce rupture into understandings of self and personhood, while serving at once to reflect and reproduce existing gender, class, social and political hierarchies of power.  Local understandings of illness compete with biomedical models of disease; local efforts at treatment are constrained by global economic and political forces; and people, communities and countries are transformed into symbols of risk and targets of accusation. And, in the case of AIDS, seemingly private acts represent the nexus of larger social, economic and political forces.

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