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Sociology of Health and Illness (SO307-30)

Topics covered

The following is an indicative list of topics for this module; precise seminar content may change from year to year.

  • Medical sociology, past and present
  • Critical Perspectives on biomedicine:The social construction of medical knowledge and
    the medicalisation of society
  • Pills, power, personhood: Pharmaceuticals and Society
  • Lay ‘knowledge’ in the information age
  • The doctor-patient relationship: continuity and change
  • Ageing bodies
  • Chronic illness and disability
  • Chronic illness as biographical disruption?
  • Sleep, health and society
  • Death and dying
  • Class and health
  • Gender and health
  • ‘Race’, ethnicity and health
  • Medicine, gender, and the health care division of labour
  • De-Professionalising or Re-professionalising medicine? Trust and Transformation
  • Social movements in health
  • Medical technologies and the body: from therapy to enhancement?
  • The rise of bioethics: sociological developments and debates
  • A new medical pluralism? Complementary and alternative medicines
  • Medical sociology revisited: past, present and future
Timing and CATS

This module is a Full Year module and is worth 30 CATS.

Programme content

The aims of the module are to provide students with a thorough grounding in the sociology of health and illness, including critical sociological perspectives on medicine, health and society; lay experiences of health and illness across the life course; patient-professional relations in medicine and health care; health inequalities; the changing nature and status of professional power and dominance; and other key developments regarding health and medicine in the twenty-first century such a new medical technologies, social movements in health, the rise of bioethics and the ‘new’ medical pluralism.

Module Director:
Simon Williams