Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Health, Illness and Society

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit will introduce and examine the key concepts related to health, illness and medicine in society. The core of the study-unit will use sociological theory to examine the dynamic processes which impact on the lived experience of health and Illness. Themes will include : medicine and social control; surveillance and health promotion. The social construction of illness and the process of medicalisation; inequalities in health.

Two-hour sessions will be split into one-hour of enquiry based learning where videos and photos are used as visual elicitations for group based discussion and engagement/exploration of the key topics under review; followed by one-hour formal lecture where these topics are 'unpacked' and grounded in sociological theory.

Study-unit Aims:

- To introduce students to the sociology of Health and Illness and to provide an overview of the major classical and contemporary works in the field;
- To highlight the divergent theoretical perspectives these offer and encourage debate about their relevance;
- To highlight the fundamental sociological concepts that underpin this field (structure, agency, power, social capital, gender, class);
- To offer opportunity to engage critically with contemporary issues linked to health and illness and facilitate informed debate by applying sound theoretical arguments.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Use sociological concepts during classroom discussions and written assessments to account for the processes and dynamics within society that influence health and Illness;
- Refer to the major classical and contemporary theorists in the field during written assessments and use their work to address contemporary issues related to health maintenance and illness;
- Refer to real-life examples, during classroom discussions and written assessments, to demonstrate clear understanding of these concepts.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Think critically about a contemporary social issue during classroom discussions and written assessments, and use classical/contemporary sociological theory to address it;
- Use online and library resources selectively and critically to augment study-unit material;
- Present a reasoned and well structured assignment on a set topic using recognized citation and referencing methods;
- Contribute effectively and confidently, using logical arguments and applying the relevant theorists, during focused group discussions.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- White, K. (2002). An Introduction to the sociology of Health and Illness. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, SAGE Publications.
- Understanding the Sociology of Health(2012) 3rd Edition Barry , Anne Marie, Yuill, Chris,SAGE publications.
- Wainwright, D. (2008) A sociology of Health LA, London, New Delhi.SAGE publications.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Poster SEM2 Yes 40%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Gillian M. Martin

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.