Sociology and Criminology

Medicine and the Body

Module code: L3117
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

This module critically engages with the conceptualisation and treatment of the body in medicine. You’ll explore the ways this shapes the broader politics of the body in the contemporary world.

We draw on concepts from sociological, feminist, queer, postcolonial and post-human theories, as well as nursing and bioethics.

You will engage with debates around:

  • the surveillance and commodification of bodies and body parts
  • the social impact of biomedical innovations such as organ transplantation, surgical interventions and enhancements
  • the ‘hybrid’ or cyborg bodies created by these and by our interactions with drugs and alcohol
  • blame and responsibility for health states including the pressure to be ‘fit’ and the policing of mental health, disability and of sexual practice
  • social responses to vulnerability, and the diseased, distressed and dying body.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of sociological theories and concepts related to the body in the context of medicine
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of contemporary debates and empirical evidence about the body’s position in medical endeavours
  • Critically apply both empirical data and theoretical work to produce coherent and detailed written work for an academic audience