health and society wordmark
Health and Society

H S 301 • Intro To Health & Society-Wb

30125 • Palmo, Nina
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet; Synchronous
CD SB (also listed as SOC 308S)
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

The principle objective of H S 301/SOC 308S is to offer students a broad overview of health and society from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We will examine how social forces influence health and disease in U.S. society, including cultural, economic, and demographic considerations. We will explore why rates of disease vary among different populations and how cultural and structural inequalities shape access to healthcare and affect morbidity and mortality. How do economic factors, politics, public perceptions of morality, and historical biases against specific populations shape our modern-day understandings and experiences of health and illness? We will also examine how social forces shape the very definitions of health, illness, and disease categories, and thereby medical diagnoses and treatments. We will consider the social consequences of the commodification of healthcare and how new technologies are transforming our current healthcare system and the nature of the patient/physicianrelationship. Our course readings and discussions will help us address current bioethical controversies that continue to influence our beliefs about health and illness and shape our very understandings about human rights and personhood. This course is built around lectures (including guest lectures), class discussion, and film screenings and discussion.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

• Analyze contemporary health issues from a variety of disciplinary and professional perspectives.

• Explain how social location, the media, and economic forces shape health behaviors and outcomes.

• Explain how social and cultural factors shape contemporary understandings and experiences of health and illness and death and dying in the U.S.

• Critically evaluate the assumptions, motives, and evidence that individuals and groups use to make specific claims about health and illness.

COURSE MATERIALS

Gawande, Atul. 2014. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. New York:Metropolitan.

Marmot, Michael. 2005. The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity. New York: Holt.

Course readings also include scholarly articles, book chapters, and other required readings available on Canvas.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

This course is organized in a lecture format, but it is greatly enhanced by your participation. For variety’s sake, I will often incorporate short video-clips, group activities, and/or writing exercises in our class session. We will also spend considerable time each week discussing the readings and our own experiences, interests, and knowledge in this area. Please remember that discussions will only be as rich as you all make them, so it is essential that everyone come prepared to speak about the readings thoughtfully and critically. Your final evaluation for the course will be broken down as follows:

Attendance and Preparedness (10%)

Students are expected to attend class, read assignments before each class, and actively participate in classroom discussions during the week. Eight times during the semester the instructor will have students sign in on a class roster or complete a group assignment in the first few minutes of class. Students will be granted one unexcused absence with no penalty. If you have a university-related conflict or medical or family emergency that prevents you from attending class, alert your TA (providing relevant documentation) and you will not be penalized for a particular absence, but you must contact your TA in advance of missing class. NOTE: Tardiness will adversely affect your grade; students who arrive late risk missing this activity or sign-in sheet and will not be allowed to receive credit for the day.

Reading responses (10%)

Students are expected to keep up with the reading for the class. Six times during the course of the semester, I will pose a reading question on the course Canvas page relevant to recent reading. The questions will be posted on Sunday evening and students are expected to write a reading response of one page, double-spaced (between 250 and 350 words) and upload a copy to the Canvas page by 5pm on the Thursday that they are due. Responses will be graded as meets/exceeds expectations (100), meets minimum expectations (70), no credit (0). See course schedule for Reading Responses (marked RR).

Exams (60%)

Two exams (worth 30% each) will be given to assess your level of mastery of the course material, including assigned readings, lectures (including guest lectures), and in-class films and other media presentations. . Both exams will be a combination of multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-theblank, short answer, or short essay items.

Essay (20%)

Students are required to write one of two essay assignments offered during the term. The paper will be approximately 5 pages in length (not to exceed 6 double-spaced pages), and will answer a specific prompt related to course topics. Specific assignments will be posted to Canvas on the dates indicated below. Papers are due in class; electronic submissions of papers will NOT be  accepted. Due dates are firm. Five points will be deducted each day the paper is late, but papers will not be accepted if they are more than five days late. Late papers cannot be emailed or posted to Canvas, so it a student’s responsibility to submit a hard copy of his/her paper to the appropriate TA.

 


H S 310P • Physical Activity/Society-Wb

30130 • Twito, Samuel
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM • Internet; Synchronous
CD (also listed as SOC 302P)
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

The principal objective of Physical Activity in Society is to understand the way in which people are physically active in a social context. We will examine how social forces influence physical activity including cultural, economic, historical, and demographic considerations. The course examines physical activity on both the individual and population levels to better understand the benefits and barriers to activity in society.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze contemporary issues in physical activity from a variety of disciplinary and professional perspectives. ●
  • Understand physical activity on both the personal/individual level as well as the population level. ●
  • Critically evaluate (and convey through writing) the assumptions, motives, and evidence that individuals and groups use in discussing physical activity.

REQUIRED READING

Readings are available on Canvas. There is no required textbook for the course.

COURSE FORMAT

This course is organized in a lecture format with discussions throughout. Though a larger class, these discussions are an important place to connect lecture content and class readings to your related experiences, interests, and knowledge. 1

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN SOCIETY COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND EVALUATION

Specific details on assignments (including rubrics) are available on Canvas. Due dates are included on the course calendar (p. 3). Unless otherwise noted, all assignments are due at 11:59PM on Thursdays via Canvas. Late assignments will lose 5 points per 24 hours. Please contact me as soon as possible if there are conflicts with assignments or if you need help.

  • Activity Selection (5%) Choose a physical activity of any kind to participate in this semester. Explain why you chose your activity through the assignment in Canvas. Meet with me and discuss your activity.
  • Field Observation (30%) An integral part of this class is field observations of physical activity (at least twice weekly) as a way to connect content in lecture and readings to the real world. You will collect data as a participant observer (using autoethnography) in a physical activity of your choice - sports, dance, exercise, walking, gardening, cycling, etc. These observations are the basis for your final paper.
  • Exams (30%) There will be two non-cumulative in-class exams covering material from lecture and the readings.
  • Annotated Bibliography (5%) An annotated bibliography is due prior to your final paper.
  • Final Project (30%) The semester’s work will culminate in a project wherein you combine your field observations with scholarly sources you find to create a larger narrative about how your physical activity functions in society. Due Tuesday, May 12th.

Grade Disputes: Any dispute of any grade from assignments, exams, or papers must be made within one week of the grade being posted or it will not be considered. Please reach out to us early if there are any problems with completing assignments


H S 330 • Health Care Policy In U.s.-Wb

30135-30140 • Angel, Jacqueline
Meets MW 9:00AM-10:00AM • Internet; Synchronous
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This course covers the essentials of health policy in the United States and compares the health care financing and delivery system in this country to those of other developed nations.  Students will learn the history of health-related legislation in the United States and investigate why this nation, unlike others, developed an employment-based health care financing system based on an insurance model rather than a publicly funded universal system.  Students will investigate the major political forces that have determined the structure of the health care system in the U.S. and examine issues related to differential access for minority Americans and those in marginal jobs that do not offer insurance coverage. 

Students will also become familiar with the legislative history of Medicaid and Medicare and the various changes that have been introduced to these programs since their introduction.  The course will examine mechanisms of reimbursement to doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers.  We will also examine the role of the pharmaceutical industry and investigate the control and regulations of drugs.  Students will learn about the structure and role of the National Institutes of Health and other major funders of medical research. 

Given the fact that the debate concerning the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform) will be a central political issue for the next few years, students will learn about the history of health care reform over the twentieth century and debate various aspects of health care reform.  After taking this course the student will understand the various issues involved in the current health care debate and their implications for the future of American medicine and the health of the population.  In the future difficult debates concerning the rationing of care, end-of-life issues, and other difficult decisions will have to take place.  After taking the course the student will be equipped to engage in these debates.

The course will consist of two lectures per week and a discussion session in which students will form small groups and discuss the issues raised in lecture.

 

Prerequisites:  Introduction to Health and Society (H&S) majors with a grade of at least B for public health majors; upper division standing for sociology majors.  The course is restricted to H&S and sociology majors.

Required readings:  T.R. Reid (2009) The Healing of America:  A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.  New York:  Penguin.  Weekly readings will be posted on CANVAS under modules.  These will form the basis for lectures and for discussion/debate in the Friday discussion section.

Grading:  The final course grade will be based on two hourly examinations and a short essay (approximately ten pages) on a topic of the student’s choice.  Examination grades and the final essay grade will be added and the total score curved so that approximately 20% of the class receives an A; 30% B; 30% C, etc.  Attendance is mandatory and will be factored into the final grade.  Each three unexcused absences will result in a full letter grade reduction in your final grade.


H S 340 • 6-Cancerland-Wb

30150 • Osbakken, Stephanie
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet; Synchronous
Wr
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Please check back for updates.


H S 340 • Covid Socl Impact/Pub Dilem-Wb

30145 • Osbakken, Stephanie
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM • Internet; Synchronous
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Course Number:  H S 340.4

Course Title:  COVID-19 Social Impacts and Public Dilemmas

Instructor Name (eid):  Stephanie Osbakken (EID: osbakken)

In this class we will explore the COVID-19 pandemic through multiple social, cultural, and economic lenses. We will begin by considering how globalization has influenced transportation networks and economic relationships that shape infectious disease transmission in the 21st century. Next, our exploration will consider the effectiveness of different public health efforts to curb the spread of this virus. How do the public health efforts of different nations and international governing bodies reveal different cultural values, political realities, and healthcare systems?

Domestically, we will evaluate the American healthcare system, considering how a patchwork of players—the CDC and other public health agencies, hospital networks, professional organizations, insurance companies, private health industries, government programs like Medicaid and Medicare, and individual emergency medical and other healthcare personnel—all worked to shape our individual and collective responses to the pandemic. We will examine ever-changing public health messaging, public health recommendations, and consider the factors that led to a lack of sufficient PPE and equipment at the outset of the pandemic.

Adopting a social epidemiological perspective, we will also explore how existing social vulnerabilities shape one’s exposure to the virus, the severity of complications from pre-existing conditions, and long-term health outcomes from the virus. We will learn why low-income and racial/ethnic minority groups are more likely to test positive for COVID-19, and also why they are more likely than white and affluent populations to suffer serious complications and die from the disease. An investigation of the social determinants of health will help us understand these disparate outcomes.

We will also consider the economic systems that led to the pandemic, but also the economic effects that have emerged since COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how political factors have shaped public health messaging, healthcare delivery, and individual behaviors throughout the pandemic. The pandemic brought widespread economic change as it shifted global markets and corporate forecasts at the macro level, but it also increased the ranks of the unemployed and those living in poverty, highlighting how some populations were especially socioeconomically vulnerable in the American economy.

Politically, we will delve into perceptions of individual liberty and collective responsibility, considering how economic privilege and long-standing political divisions shaped our responses to lockdown orders, stay-at-home recommendations and requests to follow other precautionary measures such as social distancing and wearing facemasks. How did our political leaders—our president, state governors, members of Congress and local elected officials—capitalize on long-standing political divisions and racial bias to influence our individual and collective responses to the pandemic?

Throughout the semester we will also explore myriad unintended health consequences and new social revelations brought to light by the pandemic. COVID-19 amplified collective anxieties, revealing barriers to mental health care, the importance of under-developed telemedicine, and the lack of social safety nets in the U.S. Most saliently, the pandemic also served as the backdrop for a national movement demanding justice for Black people and communities of color more generally. High-profile murders of Black people by police officers during the pandemic set off protests around the country, drawing attention to systemic racism, leading to demands for change in policing, accountability, and other public policies. The long-mocked and often ignored refrain that “Black Lives Matter” finally gained momentum, galvanizing the attention of people whose nerves were raw as a result of months of isolation and economic upheaval. “Racism as a public health crisis“ has become a rallying cry as diverse protesters ignore social distancing recommendations to tackle a health problem arguably far more menacing than COVID-19. While it remains to be seen whether these revelations and frustrations will produce meaningful long-term change, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been a mechanism for self and collective reflection.

By investigating the social factors that led and stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic, students will learn how to use social theories and empirical data to understand the world around them.

 

Grading Policy

Exam #1  20%

Exam #2  20%

Exam #3  20%

Self-Reflection Essay 15%

Social Media Group Project 10%

Public Policy Essay 15%

 

Required Texts

Though the COVID-19 and related publications will undoubtedly evolve before the spring 2021, here are some of the texts and preliminary articles in this area that I will include in the class.

Allcott, Hunt, et al. "Polarization and public health: Partisan differences in social distancing during the Coronavirus pandemic." NBER Working Paper w26946 (2020).

Anneliese Depoux, PhD, Sam Martin, PhD, Emilie Karafillakis, MSc, Raman Preet, MPH, Annelies Wilder-Smith, MD, Heidi Larson, PhD, The pandemic of social media panic travels faster than the COVID-19 outbreak, Journal of Travel Medicine, Volume 27, Issue 3, April 2020, taaa031, https://doi.org/10.1093/jtm/taaa031

Anyane-Yeboa, Adjoa, Toshiro Sato, and Atsushi Sakuraba. “Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Deaths Reveal Harsh Truths About Structural Inequality in America.” Journal of internal medicine(2020): n. pag. Web.

Armitage, Richard, and Laura B. Nellums. "COVID-19 and the consequences of isolating the elderly." The Lancet Public Health 5.5 (2020): e256.

Barach, Paul, et al. "Disruption of healthcare: Will the COVID pandemic worsen non-COVID outcomes and disease outbreaks?." Progress in Pediatric Cardiology (2020).

Bethune, Zachary A., and Anton Korinek. Covid-19 infection externalities: Trading off lives vs. livelihoods. No. w27009. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020.

Bufacchi, Vittorio. "Coronavirus: it feels like we are sliding into a period of unrest, but political philosophy offers hope." Th Conversation (2020): 1-3.

Campbell, Andrew M. "An increasing risk of family violence during the Covid-19 pandemic: Strengthening community collaborations to save lives." Forensic Science International: Reports (2020): 100089.

Courtemanche, Charles, et al. "Strong Social Distancing Measures In The United States Reduced The COVID-19 Growth Rate: Study evaluates the impact of social distancing measures on the growth rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the United States." Health Affairs (2020): 10-1377.

Devakumar, Delan, et al. "Racism and discrimination in COVID-19 responses." The Lancet 395.10231 (2020): 1194.

Dixon, Joseph. “Why Am I, as a Geriatric Medicine Fellow with Symptoms, Unable to Get Tested for COVID‐19 While Politicians, Oil Executives, and NBA Players Are?” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 68.5 (2020): 950–951. Web.

Gao, Junling, et al. "Mental health problems and social media exposure during COVID-19 outbreak." Plos one 15.4 (2020): e0231924.

Gausman, Jewel, and Ana Langer. "Sex and gender disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic." Journal of Women's Health 29.4 (2020): 465-466.

Heisbourg, François. "From Wuhan to the World: How the Pandemic Will Reshape Geopolitics." Survival 62.3 (2020): 7-24.

Holmes, Emily A., et al. "Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science." The Lancet Psychiatry (2020).

John, Neetu, et al. "Lessons Never Learned: Crisis and gender‐based violence." Developing world bioethics (2020).

Laster Pirtle, Whitney N. "Racial capitalism: a fundamental cause of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic inequities in the United States." Health Education & Behavior (2020): 1090198120922942.

Laurencin, Cato T., and Aneesah McClinton. "The COVID-19 pandemic: a call to action to identify and address racial and ethnic disparities." Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities (2020): 1-5.

Napier, A. David. “Rethinking Vulnerability through Covid‐19.” Anthropology today 36.3 (2020): 1–2. Web.

Nelson, Lorene M., et al. "US public concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic from results of a survey given via social media." JAMA internal medicine (2020).

Nicola, Maria, et al. "The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic: a review." International Journal of Surgery (2020).

Ragavan, Maya I., et al. "Supporting adolescents and young adults exposed to or experiencing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic." The Journal of Adolescent Health (2020).

Reny, Tyler T., and Matt A. Barreto. "Xenophobia in the time of pandemic: othering, anti-Asian attitudes, and COVID-19." Politics, Groups, and Identities (2020): 1-24.

Usher, Kim, et al. "Family violence and COVID‐19: Increased vulnerability and reduced options for support." International journal of mental health nursing (2020).

Van Lancker, Wim, and Zachary Parolin. “COVID-19, school closures, and child poverty: a social crisis in the making.” The Lancet Public Health 5.5 (2020): e243-e244.

Wallace, Cara L., et al. "Grief during the COVID-19 pandemic: considerations for palliative care providers." Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (2020).

Wang, Zhicheng, and Kun Tang. "Combating COVID-19: health equity matters." Nature Medicine 26.4 (2020): 458-458.

White, Douglas B., and Bernard Lo. "A framework for rationing ventilators and critical care beds during the COVID-19 pandemic." Jama 323.18 (2020): 1773-1774.

Will, Catherine M. “‘And Breathe…’? The Sociology of Health and Illness in COVID‐19 Time.” Sociology of health & illness 42.5 (2020): 967–971. Web.

Wood, Lisa J, Andrew P Davies, and Zana Khan. “COVID‐19 Precautions: Easier Said Than Done When Patients Are Homeless.” Medical Journal of Australia 212.8 (2020): 384–384.e1. Web.

Yancy, Clyde W. "COVID-19 and African Americans." Jama(2020).


H S 341 • Health And Justice-Wb

30155 • Smith, Nicole
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM • Internet; Synchronous
E (also listed as PHL 325J)
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Mass disparities exist in the health of humans across the globe. It may seem obvious from a moral point of view that if we can do something to alleviate the global and local disparities in health and access to healthcare, that we should do something about it. Once we scratch the surface of this apparent truism, however, we find a number of assumptions in need of defense. What would ground such an obligation after all? Do humans have a right to health? If so, do they also have a right to healthcare? It may seem that these two concepts are intertwined, but consider an analogy. Someone’s right to life makes it impermissible to kill that person (unless you would be justified in doing so, say, in a case of genuine self-defense). Nevertheless, the right to life plausibly does not entail that you are obligated to protect or preserve the life of everyone who has such a right. Similarly, if humans have a right to health, then it would be impermissible to undermine their health. But it is a different question whether individual’s are obligated to protect and preserve the health of others by, for example, ensuring their access to healthcare. The course will evaluate rights-based arguments, among others, that aim to show the injustice of current disparities in health. Proponents contend that we do have a moral obligation to secure health and access to healthcare across racial, gender, socio-economic, as well as national boundaries.


H S 350E • Foundations Of Epidemiology-Wb

30160 • Pasch, Keryn
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM • Internet; Synchronous
(also listed as HED 343)
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This course is an introduction to epidemiology, the basic science of public health, and is intended for students seeking careers in health related fields. It is designed to familiarize students with the basic tenets of epidemiology and the principles that guide health promotion/public health. The subject matter is applicable to a variety of fields in addition to health promotion/public health, such as, nursing, medicine and other health professions, communication, education, psychology, sociology, and social work.

Course Objectives
At the completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Define epidemiology and explain its role in healthpromotion
2. Discuss and define basic epidemiologic principles
3. Understand concepts central to epidemiologicmeasurement
4. Compare and contrast different epidemiologic study designs
5. Discuss causation and causal inference in epidemiology
6. Describe the epidemiological sub-disciplines of field, clinical, social and behavioral epidemiology

Course Sections
Section 1: Overview, context and principles
This section covers common terms used in epidemiology, the history and context of the discipline, and basic principles of epidemiology.
Section 2: Epidemiological studies and designs
This section provides students with content and hands-on application of epidemiologic study approaches.
Section 3: Causal inference and specific epidemiologic approaches
This module focuses on using epidemiology to determine causes of health problems in general and specialty areas of study.

Course Evaluation and Grades
The course will emphasize attendance and active participation in assignments during and outside of class. The professor will introduce topics for each class, and will evaluate students based on class attendance, performance on quizzes, exams, written paper, and participation in the class learning activities.


H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

30170 • Palmo, Nina
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM RLP 0.130 • Hybrid/Blended
IIWr
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What is this course about?
In this course you will write your own independent, quantitative research paper. This means
you’ll learn to formulate a research question, describe how this question fits with published
research, work with data and statistical software to answer that question, write up the results,
and present your research to the class. We will all work with the same dataset – the National
College Health Assessment (NCHA) data, which surveys college students about topics like
general health and safety, substance use, sexual behavior, nutrition, exercise, mental health,
physical health, and academic performance.

Why is this course important?
This course will help you refine your academic writing skills as you develop an independent
research paper during the term. This process will enhance your ability to interpret and
communicate findings examining the role of social forces on health and illness. It will also
help you become a critical reader of existing scholarly research. The course also serves as an
opportunity to network with other future leaders in health and healthcare as you develop a
sense of teamwork and camaraderie with your classmates.

What is the format of this course?
This course will take place entirely over Zoom. We have two meeting times each week
reserved for synchronous participation. On Tuesdays we will generally have a large group
discussion related to the book we are reading, or information will be presented about how to
write a section of the research paper. On Thursdays we will generally have small group
projects and workdays that will help you as you write your research paper.

Books you will need.
American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campusby sociologist Lisa Wade.
Sex Matters: How Male-Centric Medicine Endangers Women’s Health and What We Can Do About It. The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper.


H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

30165 • Swearingen, William
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM JGB 2.324 • Hybrid/Blended
IIWr
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Description

This course focuses on a key topic or debate within the Health and Society area of study and develops students' abilities to use data and write a research or policy paper that informs that topic or debate. Each student will write a 15-20 page research report on a topic of their interest. The paper will be written in stages, with peer and instructor review of each stage to help you with feedback as you go. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and Health and Society 301. May be counted toward the writing flag requirement. May be counted toward the independent inquiry flag requirement.

 

Grading Policy

First and foremost, understand that this course meets only once per week. It is designed to be a semi-self paced course, meaning that students meet once per week for seminar, then conduct independent research and write their assignments on their own time. Your grade is based on several written assignments, all of which will have either students or faculty feedback.


Assignments

Peer Reviews (Short Grade) 20 (possible)

3 res questions/annotated bib (Full Grade). 10

Intro Section to your paper (Short Grade). 5

Intro Section to your paper (Full Grade). 10

First half of Lit Review (Short Grade). 5

Second half of Lit Review (Full Grade). 10

Bring your data to class to use (Short Grade) 5

Revised data section (Full Grade) 10

Discussion Section due (Short Grade) 5

Revised Discussion Section (Full Grade) 10

Complete Research Paper 10


H S 378 • Seminar In Health/Society-Wb

30175 • Osbakken, Stephanie
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM • Internet; Synchronous
IIWr
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What is this course about?
This upper-level research seminar fulfills part of the requirement for the Health
and Society major. Students will develop their own research interests through
many writing projects throughout the term including an Op-Ed, a critical book
analysis, and a policy brief with team members. We will begin the semester
working together to explore various topics in health and healthcare, exploring
social, cultural, and economic factors that shape health problems in the U.S.
and elsewhere around the world. Thematic areas we will cover include: health
as a human right, the effects of social inequality on health, how market forces
shape health and wellbeing, and the future of healthcare policy in the 21st
century.

This class holds central the process of inquiry. We will work as a group in our
synchronous sessions to develop our analytical skills and ask tough questions
as we think critically about the world around us. We will rigorously incorporate
discovery, teaching, and assessment in our projects throughout the term,
individually and in teams, as we turn our own research interests into
answerable research questions, hone our presentation skills, and work as a
team to generate solutions to important health-related challenges. By the end
of the semester, students will have gained confidence in their writing abilities,
learned how to work collaboratively and constructively on shared projects with
their peers, and ultimately produce several significant pieces of original writing
they will be proud of.

Learning Objectives
By the end of the class students will be able to:
• Explore questions of interest in various independent research and
writing projects during the term.
• Become a critical reader of social scientific scholarly research examining
the role of social forces on health and illness.
• Develop and refine academic writing skills.
• Cultivate a sense of teamwork and camaraderie with classmates as you
work to develop individual and shared projects.
• Critically evaluate health research and communicate findings in a variety
of written assignments, discussions, and presentations during the term.

What will I need for this class?
Course materials include various articles and book chapters available on
Canvas. There are no specific required books to purchase for the course,
however students will need to access library materials for a variety of
assignments. You may find that you wish to purchase a book or two during the
term for your own work, especially if you are unable to access it online through
the library.

Assignments and Grading
Introductory Survey 1%
Attendance (attendance is required: 3 free absences) 5%
Participation in class discussions 15%
Canvas discussion blog posts 5%
Co-leading discussion 5%
Critical reflection essay
     o Critical reflection on COVID-19 10%
Op-Ed assignment
     o Exploratory memo- What is an Op-Ed? 5%
     o Op-Ed 10%
     o Letters to the Editor (Replies to 5 peers’ Op-Eds) 5%
Professional Development writing 5%
     o Optional peer review for two extra credit points!
Health Policy Memo – Group assignment
     o Exploratory memo- What is your role? The problem? 5%
     o Support documentation - Annotated bibliography 5%
     o Group Policy Memo 10%
     o Group Presentation 5%
     o Reflection memo- What did your team learn? 5%
     o Evaluation of team members 4%
Total 100%