This is an interdisciplinary programme focusing on the social factors and cultural context of health in its teaching and on the intersecting fields of knowledge and experience in its research to improve the health of South Africans. The programme is premised on the idea that opportunities for interdisciplinary research collaboration in the health field are both a macro-level concerning the sociocultural foundations of health and a micro-level concerning identifying ‘proximal’ risk factors such as individual lifestyles in terms of food consumption and medicinal herbs in the management of diseases.
The following research fields are included under the Anthropology of Health programme:
- Men’s health and masculinities: This research niche aims to explore men’s engagements with their health. Its adoptive, decolonial, African-centred approach seeks to go beyond western feminist framings of men’s health. The aim is not only to study men’s health but also contribute to the government and NGO initiatives aimed at improving men’s engagements with their health.
- Plant medicines.
- Food studies: A growing area of research specialisation and our Department seeks to develop this research niche through collaborative research with postgraduate studies and other departments within UWC and beyond.