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SOC 105D: Sociology of Health and Illness

This course examines the social causes and context of health, illness, and health care in the United States. Who stays healthy and who gets sick? How do individuals experience and make sense of illness? How docontextual factors (including socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, culture, social networks, and hospital quality) shape health and health care? What constitutes quality medical care and who gets it? To what degree do the spaces we inhabit and the relationships we form shape our health? What avenues exist for improving health care and reducing health disparities?In examining these questions, we will consider how social scientists, epidemiologists, public health experts, and physicians address them in research and in the field. Reflecting both qualitative and quantitative approaches, we will draw on literatures in social science, public health, and medicine. nnBy the end of the course, students will: 1) have insight into the various ways of defining and measuring health, including more »
This course examines the social causes and context of health, illness, and health care in the United States. Who stays healthy and who gets sick? How do individuals experience and make sense of illness? How docontextual factors (including socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, culture, social networks, and hospital quality) shape health and health care? What constitutes quality medical care and who gets it? To what degree do the spaces we inhabit and the relationships we form shape our health? What avenues exist for improving health care and reducing health disparities?In examining these questions, we will consider how social scientists, epidemiologists, public health experts, and physicians address them in research and in the field. Reflecting both qualitative and quantitative approaches, we will draw on literatures in social science, public health, and medicine. nnBy the end of the course, students will: 1) have insight into the various ways of defining and measuring health, including mortality, morbidity, physical functioning, and quality of life; 2) understand how a person¿s socio-demographic characteristics influence his or her health, including his or her ability to access resources vital to maintaining health and receiving treatment; 3) understand how researchersemploy theory and make causal inferences based on observational and experimental data; 4) comprehendhow patients and practitioners understand health and illness and their roles in the health care process; and 5) understand the role of medical care in the distribution of health outcomes across the population.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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