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HiL > 2009/10 Studiehåndbok > SBU3005/1 Culture, health and identity

Culture, health and identity
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English (United Kingdom)English
Antall studenter
Anne Sigfrid Grønseth og Frank Jarle Bruun
Grades A-F
MA Arbeid med barn og unge
Telefon: 612 88000

Health, Culture and Identity is a subject which gives insight in the ways in which health, illness and disease can be understood as social and cultural constructions. Teaching and curriculum will seek to throw light on health as the result of reciprocal relationship between society, culture, treatment and care. Theories, methods and terminology from the humanistic and social sciences such as anthropology, sociology and psychology are central. Together they provide perspectives and tools to analyse health, illness, disease and care within a context that reaches beyond the traditional western medical paradigm. During the semester there will be three reunions in which central themes of teaching will be:

  1. Introduction to perspectives, methods, theories and terminology from the humanistic and social sciences.
  2. Multiculturalism: Health and life-quality as sociocultural constructions in which treatment and care is negotiated.
  3. A critical view on cultural values within the sector of health- and social care.

These themes will be structuring each meeting. However, all themes will run throughout the semester.

Classes and curriculum will use examples from our contemporary globalised world with special attention on multiculturalism, integration, refugees, cultural minorities and marginalised groups. We discuss how issues of gender, kin groups, life cycle, social network all interact with health, illness, disease, life-quality and identity. The course uses a critical approach to own cultural values and minority/majority issues in which power and asymmetric relations are relevant at micro and macro levels.


The subject’s main aim is to form a way of reflection in which health, illness and disease, treatment and care are seen in a social and humanistic perspective through terms, methods and theories from anthropology, sociology and psychology .This will involve:

- to use terms, methods and theories from the subject in order to reflect over assumptions about health, illness and disease, treatment and care as a cultural construction, interpreted and handed over by active subjects in time and space.

- to be able to show relations between socio-cultural processes and individual health and life-quality

- to acquire a foundation for good communication and understanding in professional fields in which people from various cultural backgrounds and social positions meet.

It is also an aim to promote a critical attitude to own cultural informed practice in relevant fields of practices. In the modern health and social care system, as well as in public administration, one is part of cultural dynamics and it is therefore an aim to be able to see oneself as part of a cultural community where attitudes about health, illness and disease, treatment and care is formed.

Undervisnings- og læringsmetode

During the semester there will be three teaching sessions two days each. Each session will contain lectures with time for questions and dialogue as well as case oriented teaching and group work. Between each teaching session there will be work tasks and project work with supervision from the teachers.


Passer for:

Studenter opptatt ved Høgskolens masterstudier, studenter som har en relevant bachelorgrad og studenter som har annen relevant bakgrunn i medisin, helse-og omsorgsfag, samfunnsfag eller humanistiske fag. Emnet passer også for personer som arbeider i stillinger der det er behov for kompetanse i å forstå og håndtere flerkulturelle forhold, samt for personer som tar sikte på å arbeide innen dette feltet og søker å opparbeide formell kompetanse. Dette kan være innenfor barnevern, psykiatri, somatikk, eldreomsorg, skole og barnehage, rehabilitering, NAV, politi med mer.

  1. Participation in minimum two teaching meetings and presentation of work task minimum once during a teaching session.
  2. In order to present for the final exam the student must hand in and get accepted two work requirements.

Individual project work during the whole semester which will present itself in the form of a written paper. This work will be given preliminary marks which then will be adjusted at an oral examination. The oral examination will focus on the curriculum relevant for the written work.

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