The perspectives, methods, and concepts of the social sciences of health and medicine are vital in shaping how we understand and concretely respond to pandemics and public health emergencies. This course draws primarily on perspectives from the anthropology, sociology, and history of medicine and health to examine a range of questions raised by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Readings, lectures, and discussions will draw upon key and foundational texts, comparative and historical case studies, and contemporary analyses of COVID-19. Broad topics covered will include: structural health inequalities and disparities; the phenomenology of symptoms and illness experience; social norms of interaction, solidarity, and isolation; disease stigma and racism; governance and the politics of public health interventions; the provision of medical care under conditions of crisis; modeling, prediction, and trust in expertise.
This course fulfills the Social Science requirement.
Eugene Raikhel is a cultural and medical anthropologist with interests encompassing the anthropology of science, biomedicine and psychiatry; addiction and its treatment; suggestion and healing; and post-socialist transformations in Eurasia.
*Please note that the dates for this course deviate from the University’s Summer Quarter calendar