University of Utah
Honors (a division of Liberal Education) 360 Health, Culture & Knowledge: Healing the Individual and the Community.
Spring 1995

Criteria for Service-Learning designation:

1.Needed service: Students select a cross-cultural partner from an organization of their choice (students must seek approval of the organization by me). In addition, students will make a weekend trip to the Navajo Reservation to live and to work with local community members.

2. Service-subject matter relation: The purpose of this course is to examine the diverse ways humans culturally create knowledge. Involvement with a person of another culture will help students gain first-hand knowledge of the perspectives of people from another cultural background.

3. Class contemplates learning through service: As part of understanding the unique Euro-American interpretation of social problems, students must examine the roots of the "Service ethic". Through this examination, students will re-examine their social relationship with the "others" we typically categorize as being "service-needy" in Euro-American culture.

4. Assessment of learning from service: Students are graded based on weekly journals, one final paper/presentation, and class participation (including class discussions). Much of this work will be an analysis of ethnographic literature in light of service experience.

5. Service recipients evaluate service: Students will seek feedback from their partner; and, during class discussions we will attempt to evaluate the experience of their partners. My close relationship with members of the Navajo Mountain community will ensure feedback from participants of this community.

6. Service develops civic education: Students must re-examine the cultural foundations and expectations of civic education given a deeper understanding of other cultures.

7. Knowledge enhances service: Readings and lectures about a variety of cultures' systems of medicine and mechanisms of social control will greatly enhance the relationship with the student's understanding of their partners perspective. In addition, this background will aid students in understanding more about the Navajo culture.

8. Learning from other class members: Students are expected to participate in weekly discussions concerning course material and their service experience. The weekend trip to the Navajo reservation, during which students will be paired with other class members, will give students further opportunities to learn from other class members

Course Syllabus:

Week One
Lecture topics:
1) Introduction to anthropology: What is anthropology? Who are its subjects? What can anthropology tell us about ourselves? 2) Concepts of culture (taken from Tapestry of Culture. Culture and Truth) ,
3) Three different approaches to medicine: biomedicine, magicomystical, moral-experiential
4) Introduction to the out-of -class expectations, i.e.,, "service-learning." including a brief summary/discussion of the roots of service within Western tradition,

In-class discussion:

What are some generalities about knowledge production f rom the Western tradition? How might this relate to the bio-scientific medical system? Why does this system receive a privileged status?

READINGS (for the following week):
-BOILING ENERGY Ch ,3 "Education Healing" -KNOWLEDGE. POWER AND PRACTICE Ch.4 "Learning Medicine: the Construction of Medical Knowledge at Harvard Medical School

Week Two
FILM: Bill Moyers, "Healing and the Mind" Lecture topics: 1 )continuation of the three different approaches to medicine. 2 )Production of medical knowledge-"privilege, power & prestige"

What are the fundamental differences between the production of Kung medical knowledge and
the production of knowledge at Harvard Medical School?

Readings (for following week):
Boiling Energy "The !Kung approach to healing" Medical Anthropology:Ch,6 "Shamans, Witch Doctors, and other curers"

I may also chose one reading on Navajos and witchcraft

Week Three
Lecture topics:
1 )continuation of discussion of the production of knowledge cross-culturally

2 )What is distinctive of the Western tradition of knowledge production? Lecture from Whose Science, Whose Knowledge? Sandra Harding, Ch, 4,, "Why physics is a bad model for physics" and The Mind Has No Sex? L , Schiebinger, Ch, 5 "Battles over scholarly style," Ch, 10 "The exclusion of women and the structure of knowledge", "The Social Construction of Black Feminist Thought," Patricia Hill Collins


Basics about student 's service activities(e.g., what are you doing? how is it going? what kinds of things are you noticing?)

Readings(for following week):

Knowledge, Power and Practice "The Biopolitics of Postmodern Bodies: Determinations of Self in Immune System Discourse."

Shamans, Mystics & Doctors "Soul Knowledge and Spirit Force"

Week Four
Lecture topics:

  1. Differences between diagnosis of illness cross-culturally, What are the criteria for defining illness and wellness among different cultures?

2 )Differences between modes of treatment or therapy,

>From this weeks readings, what are the differences in the ways in which Western, biomedical tradition and those described by Kakar define and diagnose illness?

Readings (for following week):

-from Culture, Health and Medicine

Week Five
Lecture topics:
1 )continuation of last week 's discussion

2 )cultural "crossings''- what happens when these systems come into contact, or one tries to overpower the other? Are these systems, by necessity, incompatible?

3 )bridging the gap- what can we do to facilitate informed changes?


>From your service , what kinds of contradictions do you notice? What kinds of assumptions does Western culture make about the person with whom you are working? Are they "true"'.> Why do these assumptions attain a privileged status within "our" society? What does a resulting stigmatization do to the individual?

Readings from Ethnography of Reading

Week Six
Lecture Topics-
1) "Proper language", linguistics and literacy 2) Differences between oral and literary traditions

Why does the literary tradition command so much automatic authority in Western culture? What is it like to be illiterate in a literate society? What is it like to be literate in an illiterate society?

Readings (for following week):

Other Ways of Growing Old , (Stanford University Press) , 11 " The Old People Give You Life,': Aging Among ~!Kung Hunter-Gatherers"

-one more reading from an article on gerontology

Week Seven
Lecture topics:
1 )Aging cross-culturally
2 )Aging in Micronesia (and perhaps other cultures --- I will chose more as I search for books on cross-cultural aging) 3)the search for immortality


What is it like to be an elderly in a different society? What is it like to be an elderly person in Salt Lake City? What might be some roots of elderly depression in our society? What perpetuates these "roots"'.? Readings (for the following week): Readings on adolescence and delinquency (to be chosen still)

Week Eight
Lecture topics:
1) Adolescence- universal concept?
2) Roles of children and youth in other cultures 3) How do cultures differ in the influence of peers on delinquency? 4) Who do we tend to stigmatize as delinquent youth in Western culture and why?

is delinquency distin guished from crime? What is the difference in the consequences of their offenses? Readings- on criminology (from Marlene Lehtinen)

Week Nine
Lecture topics:
1) Western criminology

2 )How might other cultures "correct" unwanted behaviors?


Week Ten The final day of class will be presentations of and reflection on the service students were involved in during the quarter. The assignment will require them to integrate the course materia.

                                        Date: Tue, 26 Dec 1995 12:10:35 MST