Mad, Bad, Sad: Cross Cultural Perspectives

Macquarie University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Mad, Bad, Sad: Cross Cultural Perspectives

  • Host University

    Macquarie University

  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    12 credit points or 4 courses completed at the undergraduate level or ANTH 150

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Madness, deviance and other forms of social difference are culturally constructed and have moral implications that are dramatically entwined within people's life-worlds. How do cultures in different parts of the world determine and understand who is mad, bad or sad? This unit will examine cultural and social construction of normality and what happens when people find themselves outside these bounds. Working from both a comparative perspective and an analytic position moving between social structures and individual experiences and meanings, this unit focuses on the processes and experiences of social marginalisation through examining themes such as mental illness and culture, 'sanity', desire and addictions, emotions, gender norms and their transgressions, melancholy and depression, sorcery and witchcraft, criminality, homelessness, and the processes of representation, medicalisation, and stigmatisation associated with these experiences. Ultimately, students will understand and reflect on how difference is constructed and embodied, and become aware of how deviance is surveilled, managed, and constrained in a variety of cultural contexts.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.