Health and Development

Subject DEVT40007 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Students enrolling in this subject must have completed a Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Hans Baer


Subject Overview:

This subject examines the relationship between health and political economic development in the world system, particularly in developing countries. It draws upon medical anthropology and health sociology in addressing issues such as the social origins of disease and suffering and health-related problems associated with development and underdevelopment, including AIDS and other infectious diseases, global climate change, and access to health care, both in terms of national health care systems and a medical pluralism. It examines the impact of various international organizations, such as the UN, WHO, World Bank, the WTO, and the pharmaceutical industry as well that of grass-roots groups, such as NGOs, health movements, and traditional healers upon global health conditions. Finally, the subject considers social structural and socio-cultural changes that would be needed to create an equitable and healthy world system.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • Understand the impact of political-economic development upon health and health care delivery within both developed and developing societies and various social classes, ethnic minorities, genders, and other groupings within these societies;
  • Understand the nature of strategies emanating from both the macro-level, such as the WHO, the World Bank, and governments, and the micro-level, such as NGOs, health movements, and traditional healers to address health problems and provide access to health care;
  • Present reasoned and well-supported arguments concerning particular issues of contemporary significance relating to health within the world system;
  • Critically analyse the relationship between health and development from a range of sources in written assignments, while also developing skills in writing, critical analysis, research, and the use of library and internet for information retrieval.

A 2000 word paper (40%) due mid-semester.

Two 250-word abstracts of two assigned readings to be discussed in class (10%) due during the semester.

A 2500 word research paper (50%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in class is required.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

There are no prescribed texts but please see recommended text below.

Recommended Texts:

MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY AND THE WORLD SYSTEM (Praeger 2 nd edition, 2003) by Hans Baer, Merrill Singer, and Ida Susser.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • be able to engage in independent research for essay preparation using a variety of media;
  • exercise critical judgment in written assignments and group discussion;
  • acquire research skills.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 150 Point Master of Development Studies
150 Point Master of Development Studies (Gender && Development)
150 Point Master of Development Studies - Gender and Development Specialisation
200 Point Master of Development Studies
200 Point Master of Development Studies (Gender && Development)
200 Point Master of Development Studies - Gender and Development Specialisation
200 points Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Development Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Development Studies
PC-ARTS Development Studies
PD-ARTS Development Studies

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