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Sociology of Health and Medicine (SO248)

What does ‘health’ mean to you? Are we living in a ‘medicalised’ society? Is there a health gap to rival the wealth gap today? And are we on the verge of a (brave) new world of biomedical enhancements to improve our bodies and optimise ourselves?

These are just some of the questions we’ll discuss and debate on the sociology of health and medicine module. Health and medicine, you’ll discover, are sociological matters through and through. The sociology of health and medicine indeed is a thriving sub-field of sociology today.

Here are some of the things we will look at on the module, from a wide range of sociological angles, perspectives and viewpoints:

- lay beliefs and concepts of health, risk and the body

- the ‘doing’ of health in everyday life

- the changing relationship between ‘lay’ and ‘medical’ worlds in the digital information age

- the medicalization of society

- consumerism, trust and the doctor-patient relationship

- contemporary health inequalities

- the meaning and experience of chronic illness and disability

- The future of the medical profession

- changing landscapes of medicine and healthcare in the twenty-first century

- new medical technologies and body

- the growth of complementary and alternative medicine’s today

So if health matters matter to you, and you want to learn more about the sociological dimensions and dynamics of health and medicine in society today -- from the medicalization of society to contemporary health inequalities, and from the doctor-patient relationship to the problems and prospects of biomedical enhancement -- then the sociology of health and medicine may well be the module for you.

health med

Module Director

Simon Williams


This module is worth 15 CATS.