Globalization and Health Inequalities (CULT 568)

2021 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Cultural Studies(CULT)
Ayşecan Terzioğlu,
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Doctoral, Master
Formal lecture,Interactive lecture
Interactive,Communicative,Discussion based learning
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This course introduces recent theoretical perspectives and ethnographic work which explore how the political and medical authorities as well as the lay people, discuss the effects of globalization and global encounters on health inequalities, and how the global and local health policies address these inequalities. It covers such topics as the role of global health institutions in addressing the health inequalities, tensions between states? priorities and global impositions in defining and applying health policies, competition between biomedicine and alternative medical systems, local interpretations of global medical technologies and local conceptualizations of global epidemics. The course also includes nuanced approaches to the global and local ethical issues around the body, gender, life, illness, birth, death and pharmaceutical industry


Understanding how global, national and local political, economic and cultural inequalities are reflected, reproduced and challenged in the health realm and medical institutions, since the 19th century onwards. Writing a term paper based on an original research on the social and political aspects of health inequalities.


Learn different disciplines in social sciences and humanities approach the issues of health inequalities at global and local levels.
Acquire an understanding on how the historical and current political, economic and cultural inequalities are reflected, reproduced and challenged in the health realm and medical institutions.
Learn about the social constructions of health, illness, body, life and death in particular cultural contexts.
Explore different cultural patterns of discriminations, marginalizations and stigmatizations based on health and illness issues.
Explore how the patients and lay people challenge the existing health inequalities through patient activisms and lobbying.


  Percentage (%)
Assignment 20
Term-Paper 70
Participation 10



March 2-4. Global Patterns before Globalization: Colonialism and Imperialism

?Intervention Pathologies?, ?Vitality of the State?. Ungovernable Life: Mandatory Medicine and Statecraft in Iraq, Omar Dewachi, pg. 9-63. Stanford University Press, 2017

?Introduction?, ?Medicine, Enlightenment and Islam?. Quest of Justice: Islamic Law and Forensic Medicine in Modern Egypt, Khaled Fahmy, pg. 1- 80. University of California Press, 2018

March 9-11. Medical Professions and Health Inequalities

?Doctors without Empires?. Ungovernable Life: Mandatory Medicine and Statecraft in Iraq, Omar Dewachi, pg. 65-81. Stanford University Press, 2017

?The Desirable?, New Organs within Us: Transplants and the Moral Economy, Aslıhan Sanal, pg. 15-110. Duke University Press, 2011

March 16-18. Pandemics: Old and New
?Ebola and Accusation Gender and Stigma in Sierra Leone?s Ebola Response?, Olive Melissa Minor, Anthropology in Action, vol: 24(2), pg. 25-25, 2017
?What Went Wrong: Corona and the World after the Full Stop?, Carlo Caduff, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, vol: 34 (4), pg. 467-487, 2020

March 23-March 25. Chronic Diseases and Inequalities

?Creating and Embedding Cancer in Botswana?s Oncology Ward?. Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic, Julie Livingstone, pg. 52-84, Duke University Press, 2011
?On the Possibility of a Disabled Life in Capitalist Ruins: Black Workers with Sickle Cell Disorder in England?, Simon M. Dyson et. Al, Social Science&Medicine, vol: 272, 2021
March 30-April 1. Mental Health

?Why and how Inequality Matters?, Jane D. McLeod, Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, vol: 56 (2), pg. 149-165, 2015

?Experiments in Scale: Humanitarian Psychiatry in Post-Disaster Turkey?, Christopher T. Dole, Medical Anthropology, pg.398-412, 2020

April 13-15. Big Pharma: Drug Industry and Inequalities

?Pharmaceutical Governance?, Joao Biehl. Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practices, Adriana Petryna, Andrew Lakoff & Arthur Kleinman (eds), pg: 206-239, Duke University Press, 2006
?Hydroxychloroquine Controversies: Clinical Trials, Epistemology, and the Democratization of Science?, Luc Berlivet&Ilana Löwy, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, vol: 34 (4), pg. 525-541, 2020

April 20-22. Refugee Health

?Refugee Health and Rehabilitation: Challenges and Response?, Fary Khan &Bhasker Amatya, Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, vol: 49, pg: 378-384, 2017
?Access to Health Services for Migrants in Turkey?, Faize Deniz Mardin &Nuray Özgülnar, European Journal of Public Health, vol 26(1), 2016
April 27-29. Inequalities in Birth and Death

?Childbirth in Santiago de Chile: Stratification, Intervention, and Child Centeredness?, Marjorie Murray, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, vol: 26 (3), pg. 319-337, 2012

?The Culling: Pandemic, Gerocide, Generational Effect?, Lawrence Cohen, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, vol: 34 (4), pg. 542-560, 2020

May 4-6. Public Health and Humanitarianism
?An Apple a Day?. The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, T.R. Reid, pg. 186-204, Penguin Books, 2009

?Governing Ebola: Between Global Health and Medical Humanitarianism?, Sophie Harman & Clare Wenham, Globalizations, vol: 15(3), pg. 362-376, 2018

May 18-20. Ethics and Inequalities

?Rethinking Medical Ethics: A View From Below?, Paul Farmer, Developing World: Bioethics, vol: 4 (1), pg. 17-41, 2004

?Bioethics, Human Rights and Childbirth?, Joanna N. Erdman, Health and Human Rights Journal, vol: 17 (1), pg. 43-51, 2015