Medical Anthropology

Medical Anthropology provides an anthropological perspective on health and illness processes and the socio-cultural factors that shape the experience of illness, patterns of health and disease, and access to health care services. Medical anthropology uniquely studies both cross-cultural and biomedical systems of healing.  For example, Medical Anthropology examines HIV/AIDS, Alcohol & Addiction, Mental Health, Global Health, Food and Nutrition, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Reproduction, and Disability among other things.

Medical Anthropology falls within the applied anthropology field, and students with this specialization also go on to other professional programs such as medicine, nursing and public health where their research and critical thinking skills in the analysis and interpretation of biomedical knowledge are appreciated in the context of a rapid increase in cultural diversity of those entering the health care delivery system.

The Department of Anthropology has been a leader in Canada in the development of courses in medical anthropology. For more than a decade, the department has consistently offered courses covering anthropological perspectives on food, nutrition, reproduction, aboriginal health, international health, mental health and disability. We offer a breadth of courses few other departments in Canada can match. These courses can be found in our "Gender, Health & the Body" stream.

Course Requirements (30 credits total):

  • ANTH 2110 6.0 Core Concepts in Anthropology
  • ANTH 2170 6.0 Sex, Gender & the Body
  • ANTH 3330 6.0 Health & Illness in Cross Cultural Perspective: An Introduction to Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 4330 3.0 Critical Issues in Medical Anthropology

And 9 elective credits chosen from the following Anthropology and Social Science lists:

  • ANTH 3080 6.0 Modes of Enablement: A Cultural Perspective on Physical Disability
  • ANTH 3190 3.0 Nutritional Anthropology: Food and Eating in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANTH 3200 3.0 The Anthropology of International Health
  • ANTH 3280 6.0 Psychiatric Anthropology & Social Stress
  • ANTH 3560 6.0 Anthropology of the Senses
  • ANTH 4160 3.0 Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples' Health
  • ANTH 4430 6.0 The Anthropology of Reproduction, Personhood and Citizenship
  • SOSC 3117 3.0 Politics of Addiction
  • SOSC 3118 3.0 Cultures of Addiction
  • SOSC 3168 3.0 Environmental Health