Anthropology | Mobile Health
A200 | 13311 | Bludau

In a globalized world, people, goods, and ideas are constantly on the
move – including disease, drugs, patients and healthcare providers.
For example, one day a woman gets on a plane from London to New York,
unaware that she has H1N1.  Upon arrival to New York, she visits a
clinic where the nurse is Jamaican and the doctor Pakistani.  They
prescribe her drugs that have been manufactured in India.  Meanwhile,
her husband is receiving acupuncture from a Chinese herbalist for knee
pain.  Across the country in California, a Laotian immigrant is taking
part in a shamanic healing ceremony.  These examples are common
occurrences in our incredibly mobile and fast-paced world and daily
lives.  What makes them possible?  Why is how we experience health and
well-being such an international affair?  How does our capacity to
quickly travel and share information impact our health and well-being,
and the health and well-being of those around us?  This course
attempts to answer these questions by exploring the nexus of
globalization and health.

Globalization is about movement.  Health and well-being, however, is
defined differently depending on the context in which an individual
finds him or herself.  Belief systems, education, and class are just a
few of the influences that act upon how we define “health.”  Broadly,
we will consider health and well-being to be linked to one’s physical,
mental, and spiritual states.  Therefore, in order to explore the
intersection of globalization and health, we need to examine what or
who moves, how it or they move, and how it or they influence the
physical, mental and spiritual state of those it or they impact.

In this class, we will consider 3 types of movement: the movement of
disease and treatment, the movement of patients, and the movement of
healthcare workers.  Understanding that each of these areas is
intimately connected to each other through various means, by
separating them into categories, we can focus on specific mechanisms
of each type of movement.  Throughout the course, we will consider the
context of each case, exploring the multiple perspectives of each
case, including how issues of class and status influence these mechanisms.