Module Catalogues, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University   
Module Code: DPH103
Module Title: Social Perspectives of Public Health I:Society, Culture and Health
Module Level: Level 1
Module Credits: 5.00
Academic Year: 2019/20
Semester: SEM1
Originating Department: Health and Environmental Science
Pre-requisites: N/A
To introduce the student to an anthropological perspective that will prepare the student for public health practice with different social and cultural populations. This inquiry facilitates a medical humanities interdisciplinary approach, which can provide a means for better understanding of the relationships between health and illness in cross-cultural, international and global contexts.
Learning outcomes 
A Discuss the differences between disease, illness and sickness.

B Identify how perceptions of health, illness and care are outcomes of culture.

C Describe the relationships between ritual, control and health.

D. Understand the assumptions and practices of biomedicine

Method of teaching and learning 
Lecture, small group discussions in seminars, tutorials and debates will all be utilised. Additionally, videos will be introduced as needed. Students will have an opportunity to practice ethnographic methods.

Week 1 – Introduction

Overview of the major sociological and anthropological perspectives on health, illness, sickness, and disease. Introduction of the idea that health is not only a biological phenomenon. Presentation of the ethnographic method in sociological and anthropological approaches to health and medicine.

Week 2 – Cultural Constructions of Health and Illness

Exploration of the commonalities and differences in understanding health and illness among various traditional and modern societies. Overview of culture-bound diseases.

Week 3 – Religion, Ritual and Healing

Analysis of indigenous and modern approaches to healing at the intersection between religious ideas and ritual performance. Introduction of the concepts of “symbolic healing” and “liminality” (Turner). Examination of the functions accomplished by rituals in biomedicine.

Week 4 – The Biomedical Model of Health

Presentation of the biomedical model of health and its construction of medical objects, subjects, and categories. Examination of the global circulation and local adaptation of biomedicine. Discussion of the discursive construction of high technology medicine.

Week 5 – Medical Pluralism – Lay, Folk, and Professional Healthcare

Overview of indigenous medical systems, popular health culture, and lay beliefs about health, illness, and healing in different societies. Discussion of the potential of cooperation among biomedicine, complementary medicine, and alternative medicine.


Week 6 – The Unequal Distribution of Health and Illness

Examination of the patterned distribution of health and illness between and within societies. Review of the impact of class, gender, and ethnicity on the health status of individuals and their access to professional therapeutic care.

Week 7 – No class

Delivery Hours  
Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab/Prcaticals Fieldwork / Placement Other(Private study) Total
Hours/Semester 26  26  4      94  150 


Sequence Method % of Final Mark
1 Debates (2X) 10.00
2 Essays(Three 1000+ Word Essays) 30.00
3 Presentation (Oral) 10.00
4 Final Paper(Revision Of Essays With Introduction And Conclusion; 4,000+ Words) 50.00

Module Catalogue generated from SITS CUT-OFF: 12/8/2019 2:52:35 AM