Sociology Of Health And Medicine

SOC4620 Sociology of Health and Medicine
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits
This course exercises the sociological imagination in understanding how health, illness, and healthcare, are socially constructed. This construction occurs at a local, national, and international level, at the interplay of culture, policy, service, and business. By examining both health and health systems, students will gain an understanding of how an individual's health both shapes their navigation through society, and is affected by the society they navigate. We will examine this phenomenon at the interpersonal, structural, and international level. Our course will begin by understanding health and healthcare as a fundamentally social process - one that is affected by both the history of society at large and systems of inequality inherent to that society. We will then explore how these phenomena translate (or do not translate) in an international capacity. Finally, we will examine the process behind manufacturing health and healthcare, before exploring what can be done about health inequalities.

Through in-class discussions and writing assignments, students will gain a more critical understanding of health and health systems as a process, rather than as stagnant entities. We will analyze the intersecting roles of the family, culture, education, authority, gender, race, social class, ideology, economic commensuration, and nation of origin in the process of health - and how each of those in turn affect the business of healthcare and system of healthcare delivery.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
v Explain sociological theories of illness in the context of real-world experiences
v Thoroughly understand the impact of the social world on the manufacturing of healthcare, the roles of health/illness to individuals, and the processes of (de)medicalization
v Describe the role of intersecting systems of disadvantage and cultural meanings on health treatments and outcomes
v Effectively critique competing mechanisms to address various 'health crisis'
v Responsibly apply empirical findings to current policies and discourse

Prerequisites: Any combination of 2 ILA (HSS, LTA, CSP, LVA, CVA)

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: History and Society
  • Level: Advanced Liberal Arts 4600 Requirement (UGrad),Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: SOC4620
  • Number of Credits: 4