LAS 306 Health, Harm, and Healing

The Latin American region has some of the greatest health disparities on the plan Let. Why do they exist, why do they persist, and what might be done to change them? This class will focus on examining the social dimensions that perpetuate inequalities of health and harm in Latin American societies, as well as healing practices that include, but extend far beyond, a biomedical approach. We will also look closely at the influence of “culture” on disease and treatment, which often figures centrally within debates about the production of Latin American health inequalities. How do cultural ideas and practices about race, indigeneity, class, gender, ecology, development, and globalization affect how a disease is understood, who gets access to treatment, who is denied access to care, and who heals and who doesn’t? The course will argue that in Latin America to understand the production of health inequalities, and to transform them, we need to interrogate closely sociocultural dimensions of disease and medicine, at both local and global scales.