This course explores the interaction of the human body and society, with special (but not exclusive) emphasis on the medical context of illness, injury and healing. We will begin with a brief overview of the history of medicine, focusing on three areas: perceptions of the body, beliefs about illness and healing, and the methods through which the body has become known to us. The second section of the course asks to what extent the human body is a social rather than a natural creation. Here we will study various ways social acts alter the body, both physically (i.e., standards of beauty and health) but also conceptually (i.e., the concept of race). In the final section of the course, we will analyze the metaphorical relationship of the body and society. In this section, we will explore the parallels that have been drawn between the body and society both in medical thought (i.e., the body as microcosm) and in social discourse (i.e., social problems as disease). Substantive topics will depend in part upon the interests of students in the class, but are likely to include dissection, organ transplantation, tattooing, piercing, scarring, contagion and epidemic disease, medical technology, and the classification of the body into different races and sexes.
COURSE FORMAT: Lecture/Discussion
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS SOC Grading Mode: Graded
Prerequisites: SOC151 OR SOC152 Links to Web Resources For This Course.
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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