MIT OpenCourseWare
  • OCW home
  • Course List
  • about OCW
  • Help
  • Feedback
  • Support MIT OCW

21A.215 Medical Anthropology, Fall 2004

Photograph of Navajo healing ceremony.

A young patient observes a medicine man (on the right) and helper prepare a sandpainting as part of her healing ceremony. (Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine, Navajo Area Indian Health Service Today, IHS, 1980.)

Highlights of this Course

This course features extensive lecture notes and reading questions in the study materials section.

Course Description

This course looks at medicine from a cross-cultural perspective, focusing on the human, as opposed to biological, side of things. Students learn how to analyze various kinds of medical practice as cultural systems. Particular emphasis is placed on Western (bio-medicine); students examine how biomedicine constructs disease, health, body, and mind, and how it articulates with other institutions, national and international.


Prof. Jean Jackson

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session




Send feedback about OCW or this course.