Disability, Culture, & Society
Summer 2013 Term A
Instructor: Prof. Brinda Jegatheesan
Quarter: Summer Term A Credits: 3 Mon/Wed: 9:10- 11:50
Course description: What are the local and global cultural processes that shape aspects of disability and illness? How do we examine and respond to the study of human’s relationship to these areas in specific contexts? This course examines the socio-cultural construction of disability and illness in different societies, their consequences for the experience of disability and illness, and implications for cultural competence in disability and illness related practice.
Disability and illness are not viewed as opposing conditions, because disabilities in one area of a person’s life may co-exist with substantial well-being in other areas of health. The primary objective of this course is to think about disability and illness outside the framework of standard biomedical concepts, that is, as ecological, evolutionary, and cultural systems rather than as merely products of disability and illness dynamics. A second objective is to compare patterns of various societies, their ecological systems, and their beliefs about (and management) of disability and illness, and to think about how changes in health and rehabilitative practices and services must incorporate local/native concepts of disability and illness.