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Health Illness and Society (POPH90245)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codePOPH90245
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Today the complex public health concerns that confront the world require medical and social science researchers to collaborate. Health, illness and Society, incorporating insights from medical anthropology and health sociology will engage with the social, political, economic and historical factors shaping public health. Social science perspectives help to explain social behaviour, how societies change, the role of social institutions in society and the relationship between individuals and social structures. This subject will address; (1) social science understanding of health and illness, such as alcohol misuse, obesity and poverty; (2) social science theories and their relevance in public health, such as structuralism and postmodernism; (3) social science critiques of public health policies, such as neoliberal health care reforms. Students will develop conceptual tools for understanding everyday life and will gain experience applying these tools to explain and find innovative solutions for public health problems.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this course students will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of key social science perspectives applied to public health
  • Understand how conceptions of health and illness and the forms and meaning that illness take are reflections of a particular social and cultural context
  • Apply social theory to the analysis of health care systems in different political and economic contexts
  • Utilise social theory to analyse public health issues
  • Synthesise social science perspectives to inform public health policy and practice.

Last updated: 30 August 2019