Barbara B. Mcgrath
Examines social and cultural issues of human genome sequencing and control of genetic expression. Attitudes and behaviors toward health, illness, and disability are studied using historical, contemporary, and cross-cultural case study material. Offered: jointly with ANTH 574/PHG 521.
Course Description: The results of dramatic advances in human genetics research are making their way from the laboratory through the media and the clinic into the lives of everyday people at break neck speed. Debate about the implications for society and the role of public health is taking place among researchers, clinicians, ethicists, and concerned citizens. This course will bring a social science perspective to the dialogue by examining social and cultural processes that influence response to ?the new genetics.? Topics addressed include: the place of science, biomedicine and biotechnology in our society; the post modern body in a genetics era; prenatal diagnosis and the eugenics of choice; genetic testing and medicalization of the family; stigma and disability; as well as other issues to be identified by participants in the course.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This course is designed as a graduate seminar
A formal background in biology or genetics is not necessary, but an interest in science is helpful
Class assignments and grading
Student led class discussion Submitted examples of media representations of genetics Final paper (15 pages) Oral presentation
the above assignments