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This subject introduces a wide range of anthropological interests in the human body from a comparative ethnographic perspective. It considers topics such as body image and eating disorders, gendered bodies, body modifications and decorations, consciousness and the body/mind continuum, commodified bodies, disabled bodies and body healing. We will investigate how the human body is individually and culturally constructed and socially experienced through a critical examination of a range of ethnographic and theoretical literature, as well as through exploratory field research.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- Appreciate how a critical comparative perspective and a tradition of ethnographic enquiry can inform developments in theories of the body.
- Articulate an understanding of a range of debates on the relations between bodies, minds, and the social, cultural and physical environments in which they circulate.
- Be able to communicate effectively in a variety of written and oral formats.
- Work reflexively and independently to appreciate the huge diversity of bodies in the world as well as a large (and sometimes challenging) range of beliefs, ideas and experiences people have with bodies and their parts.
Last updated: 9 September 2021