Sociology of Health and Illness

Module code: SY3095

How many issues surrounding health could be prevented or improved by considering the sociological context of the patient? What sociological factors are most likely to bring about illness?

You’ll be looking at the research surrounding this topic, and differentiating between physical and mental illness in sociological terms. Your own research will investigate what aspects of individual’s lives and surroundings which are most likely to affect their health, such as socioeconomic background or culture. A range of case studies will be used from across the globe, in order to compare contrasting communities. Utilising key theories and applying them to various contexts will help you to gain a thorough understanding of this topic.

Topics covered

  • Physical health and illness
  • Mental health and mental illness
  • Disability
  • Key theorists such as Foucault and Parsons (amongst others)
  • Social factors in health and illness such as gender and social class
  • Specific health examples; such as self-harm, suicide, and autism
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