This seminar explores the health systems of East Asia using Arthur Kleinman's definition of a health system as the complex social system of healing supported by culture-bound understandings of health and illness, not merely the institutions that provide health services. Readings and discussion cover the major cultural and institutional characteristics of health, illness, and health care in Japan and mainland China, with more limited attention to Taiwan and South Korea. Discussion topics include the role of Chinese medicine, cultures of biomedicine, rapid demographic change, environmental/industrial diseases, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Particular attention is paid to the role of "plural" medical cultures in many East Asian contexts and how such syncretic health systems shape health practices and policies across the region.
Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in East Asian Studies
Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Medical Humanities