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ANTHRO 182N: Smoke and Mirrors in Global Health

A few years ago, health experts began calling out tobacco as engendering a global health crisis, categorizing the cigarette as the world's greatest weapon of mass destruction. A "global health crisis"? What merits that title if not tobacco use? A hundred million people were killed by tobacco in the 20th century, and ten times that number ¿ a billion people ¿ are predicted to die prematurely from exposure to cigarette smoke over the next hundred years. How has tobacconcome to be labeled a global health crisis over the last decade and what has been the political response? From whence does activism and ongoing complacency regarding tobacco arise? How are they created in different cultural contexts?nnThis course aims to provide students conceptual tools to tackle two specific thought projects: (1) to understand how institutional actors compete to define a situation in the world today as a problem of global health, and (2) to understand the sociocultural means by which something highly dangerous to health such as the cigarette is made both politically contentious and inert. On both fronts, special attention will be given to the ways global health activism and complacency unfold in the U.S. and China.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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