TERM: 2022-23 Fall
COURSE TITLE: Sociology of Health and Illness
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr Jennifer Braun and Dr David Long
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores health, illness and death from a sociological perspective. In our examination of the broad cultural, political, economic, and interpersonal forces that impact health and illness, we will reflect critically on the relationship between the social determinants of health such as social class, race, gender, and age and patterns of health, illness and death in Canada and worldwide. We will explore historical and contemporary developments in dominant and alternative perspectives on the causes and treatment of disease and illness as well as contemporary issues surrounding the social experience of being ill, mental health, addictions, reasons for seeking particular types of care, and perspectives on death and dying.

Same as KINS 356.

Prerequisites: SOCI 200
REQUIRED TEXTS: Hornosty, Jennie & John Germov.(2017) Second Opinion: An Introduction to Health Sociology 2nd Canadian Edition. Oxford University Press.
Other assigned readings available on Moodle
Module 1 Assignments 25%
Module 2 Assignments 25%
Module 3 Assignments 25%
Module 4 Assignment (Short writing paper) 25%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Students will develop their sociological imaginations in ways that will help them think about health and illness in a critically hopeful sociological way.

Students will learn to think of health, medicine, and the body as socially constructed.

Students will learn the concepts, theories and methods used in health sociology research and how to apply them in ways that will contribute to a deeper sociological understanding of their own pursuit of health and wellness.

Students will become familiar with the range of themes and topics studied by health sociologists.

Students will learn to understand past and current developments in health, illness, medicine, and health care from a sociological perspective.
LECTURE OUTLINE: Module 1 Studying Health Sociologically
  • Introductions & Land Acknowledgement
  • Health Problems as Social Issues
  • Theorizing Health
  • Researching Health
Module 2 The Social Production and Distribution of Health and Illness
  • Health and Inequality
  • Women's Health
  • Racialization, Diversity, and Health
  • Indigenous People and Health
  • Environmental Links to Health
Module 3 The Social Construction of Health and Illness
  • Medicalization
  • Disability and Illness
  • Aging, Dying and Death
Module 4 The Social Organization of Health Care
  • Medicine and Public Health
  • Power, Politics, and Values in the Canadian Healthcare System
  • Complementary and Alternative Care 

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

The King's University
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