Sociology

Sociology of Medicine and Health

Module code: L3083A
Level 5
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework

The module begins by considering the relationship between socio-economic inequality and health outcomes industrialiSed countries, especially in Britain. You then examines the role played by the state, and the National Health Service in particular, in the heath of the nation. The position of medical and health professionals is also analysed in order to understand processes of professionalization and medicalization. Attention then turns to medicines themselves, how they are tested for safety and effectiveness by the pharmaceutical industry and how this process in regulated by governments. The implications of pharmaceuticals and drug prescribing for public health will be carefully scrutinised. You will also gain sociological insights into reproductive technologies and some of the health and social implications of the 'new genetics'. Finally, the module discussed lay public and mass media perspectives on medicine.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of key topics and debates in the sociology of medicine and health
  • Compare access to and experiences of healthcare for different groups and societies
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of empirical material as evidence in specific cases
  • Critically evaluate competing theoretical perspectives on medicine and health in writing