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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Donna Leonetti
BIO A 476
Seattle Campus

Sociocultural Ecology and Health

Sociocultural ecology of health/disease, focusing on humans as bioculturally integrated beings and on populations as biocultural units of adaptation. Examples of research on disease, both infectious and chronic, and patterns of morbidity and mortality, infant, maternal, old age, with particular attention to situations of sociocultural changes. Prerequisite: BIO A 201.

Class description

As highly social animals we create complex sociocultural environments within which we live.The premise of this course is that the conditions of these social environments determine our health to a very large extent. It is these sociocultural environments which support our capacity to thrive and reproduce. We will explore theoretical perspectives which allow us to analyze the impact of these relationships at the individual and group level. The course will take a life history within sociocultural context approach to health and well-being, focusing first on stress-related health issues based in the relationship between attachment formation, risk behaviors and gender. A second focus will be on connection between life history, parental investment, growth and development, and gender with early-age and later-age health outcomes. Finally we will focus on social inequality and the ecological resource landscape it creates with effects on health, reflecting back on life history issues studied earlier in the course.

Student learning goals

The main goal is to gain an appreciation for the role of sociocultural context in health issues from both life history and cross-cultural perspectives.

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion.

Recommended preparation

Biocultural anthropology and anthropology courses.

Class assignments and grading

Written discussion notes on readings following an assigned format plus a term project with class presentation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Donna Leonetti
Date: 02/28/2011