Spanish 460: Culture, Society, and Medical Discourse in Argentina

Cross listed with LACS 490. 3 credits. Credits applicable towards minor in Global Health, major in Human Health, and minor/major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

This course is a seminar focused on the meanings that medicine generates across societies in general, with an eye to Argentina in particular. Though many of our cultures often vouch for the universality of science, the ways in which medical professionals interact with their respective societies often reval that their discipline is anything but a neutral practice. Our class discussions will invite students to examine in a critical way the cross-cultural traits that sometimes color the practice of medicine in Argentina. We will look at how doctors interact with patients and nurses, how they dress and talk, how they emit diagnoses and make recommendations, and how they prescribe treatments, deal with stigma, and participate in the cultural construction of disease. Students will examine doctors’ office formats, look at hospital layouts, and explore how Argentine media portray doctors, nurses, patients, health and illness. In sum, this seminar will help students interrogate the field of medicine and its mores, with the ultimate goal of discerning to what extent the state of our health is culturally construed, and what our findings entail for the human condition.