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Welcome to UNC Medical Anthropology!


Medical Anthropology addresses the biological, cultural, and political-economic dimensions of health, illness, and healing historically and at present. Research includes attention to the body as a site of symbols and evolutionary processes, suffering and healing as interpretive processes, and the multiple facets of affliction at individual and collective levels.

Biomedicine and a range of other healing systems come under scrutiny as social phenomena shaped by the impact of history, social organization, and dynamic relations of power. Thus, health issues are considered in relation to broader, intersecting systems of environment and ecology, gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, nation, and class subjectivities. A central contribution of medical anthropology is the critical analysis of how knowledge about health is constructed, deployed, and contested in various social arenas and for various purposes.