This option is intended to introduce students to the way in which sociologists have thought about health and illness. A central theme of this unit is the social construction of more subjectively defined 'ill health' and the central role that health plays in contemporary social consciousness.
By the end of the unit students should:
1. be familiar with sociological issues around health and illness;
2. question the role of medicine in the modern world and problematise the concepts of 'health' and 'illness';
3. be aware of inequalities in health, particularly in relation to social class, gender, age and ethnicity.
* To think creatively and analytically;
* To communicate an argument;
* To evaluate others' arguments and research;
* To learn independently and be able to assess own learning needs (i.e. identify strengths and improve weaknesses in methods of learning and studying);
* To critically evaluate and assess research and evidence as well as a variety of other information;
* To gather information, data, research and literature from a number of different sources (i.e. library, web-based, archives etc.);
* To select appropriate and relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge;
* To analyse and evaluate innovative practices in students' relevant degree discipline;
* To explore a variety of relationships and environments relevant to learning and practising within the context of the students' degree discipline;
* To effectively and efficiently apply principles of sociological/social policy analysis within a variety of environments;
* To develop study & learning skills (note taking, avoiding plagiarism, using the library, gathering and using information, constructing a bibliography, referencing);
* To develop inter-personal and communication skills;
* To develop revision and examination skills;
* Time-management and administrative skills;
* Presentation skills and verbal communication (i.e. seminar and tutorial contributions);
* To lead others confidently and competently;
* To solve problems in a variety of situations;
* To prioritise workloads, and utilise long- and short-term planning skills.
Definitions of health and illness; the medicalisation of everyday life; Progress, medicine and its critique; Social and global inequalities; Alternative medicine and the organic; Syndromes; Shaping the body; Ageing; Tragedy and the 'meaning' of death; Public health in an age of anxious individualism.