Department of Sociology

Stephanie Osbakken, PhD


Ph.D., University of Michigan

Assistant Professor of Instruction
Stephanie Osbakken, PhD

Contact

Courses


H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

30415 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 214
IIWr

This upper-level capstone 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, an essay exploring the COVID-19 pandemic, a focused literature review, and a policy memo 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.

How can I best succeed in this class?

To succeed in this course, I recommend that you read all assigned texts before our shared class meetings, regularly post thoughtful responses to the discussion blog prompt before each class, attend every (or almost every) Zoom class, and participate regularly in our synchronous online discussions. In addition, constructively working with class group members is important for your success in this class. Participation and active engagement in the class let me know that you take your work seriously. Another way to be successful is to devote time to the writing process and submit all of your assignments on time. Perhaps most importantly, be willing to take risks and have fun!

Assignments and Grading

 

Description

Percent of Final Grade

Introductory Survey

1%

Attendance (attendance is required: 3 free absences)

5%

Participation in class discussions

20%

Canvas discussion blog posts (6 of 8)

5%

Leading discussion

5%

Expressive writing essays on COVID-19 (6 of 8)

5%

COVID-19: social analysis writing assignment

5%

Op-Ed assignment

 

o   Op-Ed

10%

o   Peer review Reports/Letters to the Editor

5%

Health Policy Memo – Group assignment

 

o   Proposal – What is the problem?

5%

o   Relevant Statutes and Codes

5%

o   Research Support- Literature review

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%

 

 

 

 

Assignment and Grading Details

Introductory Survey (1%)

Filling out a beginning of the term survey will help me get to know you, and will count 1% toward your final grade.

Attendance (5%)

Attendance is mandatory in a discussion-based, writing intensive class. You can miss three classes without penalty during the term. Please attend class every day, it facilitates your learning and engagement in our class, but it’s essential for our learning community. I recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has created difficult circumstances for many of us. If at any point in the semester you are unable to attend regularly due to COVID-related reasons, please be in touch with me immediately.

Participation (20%)

Students are expected to have read all assigned readings before each class period and participate actively and respectfully in class.  Though we are online, creating a learning community is important.  Since this is a discussion-based seminar, you should keep your video on during our Zoom calls. I know that we all struggle from Zoom fatigue, but we have to show up to have an effective class. Let me be clear: If your Zoom camera is off, you are not counted as present or participating. If you need a personal day, please take it and stay home.It is also a good idea to write your own questions on the readings. Come to class willing to share your questions and actively participate in our discussions so we can have an exciting semester!

Leading Discussion (5%)

Students will be asked to co-facilitate a discussion once during the semester. I will post a sign-up sheet soon after the semester starts, so you have plenty of time to plan with your co-discussant. I will also discuss my evaluation guidelines in advance so that you are aware of my expectations. Your attendance on the date you are leading discussion is MANDATORY.

Discussion blog posts (5%)

On our student-led discussion days, students should arrive to class prepared to discuss the course material, having already submitted an entry to our online discussion board (indicated on the course calendar below). For each day, you will craft a short (two to three paragraphs at most) response to the day’s prompt and post it to Canvas’s discussion forum before class begins. Your blog posts will be assessed on the extent to which you thoughtfully and completely answer the prompt and submit it on time. There will be a total of 8 prompts posted, and you will need to thoughtfully respond to at least 6 prompts during the semester.

Expressive writing assignments about COVID-19 pandemic (5%)

There are 8 expressive writing assignments offered during the term, and 6 are required for full credit. These assignments are designed to enhance your ability to process the challenges of the pandemic by giving you an opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings. These assignments are based on Professor Jamie Pennebaker’s research on the value of expressive writing, which we will discuss in class.

COVID-19 social analysis writing assignment (5%)

Students will write a short paper analyzing some dimension of the COVID-19 pandemic.      

Op-Ed Assignment (15% total)

Students will write a persuasive/argumentative Op-Ed on a topic of their choice, review their peers’ work and respond in a “letters to the editor” assignment. A detailed assignment will be distributed in class.     

Op-Ed: 10%

Letters to the Editor/peer reviews: 5%

           

Health Policy Memo Group Assignment (39% total)

Students will work in teams to write a health policy memo. Detailed assignments will be posted later in the semester. Components include:

Proposal: 5%

Statutes and codes research: 5%

Research support- literature review: 5%

Group policy memo: 10%

Group presentation: 5%

Reflection memo: 5%

Evaluation of team members: 4%

 

Overall semester averages will earn the following letter grades:

93-100:    A               90-92.9:  A-

87-89.9:   B+             83-86.9:  B                80-82.9:  B-

77-79.9:   C+            73-76.9:  C                70-72.9:  C-

67-69.9:   D+            63-66.9:  D                60-62.9:  D-               0-59.9:  F

 

Course grades will be assigned according to this scale, with no rounding guaranteed (so 92.7 earns an A-, not an A; 89.9 earns a B+, not an A-).

Preparation, participation, and professional development

This seminar is a capstone seminar for the Health and Society major and you should consider it a professional development seminar as well. I advise you to take this class as seriously you would your first job out of college. Consider our online discussion table like a meeting in your dream job. Your classmates are your division or team at work. In every way you can, force yourself NOT be a student, but a professional who is being evaluated and paid for your contribution. In the spirit of this environment, I hope you choose to network with other students, bring interesting news articles or tidbits from social media to the group by posting it on our discussion board, or broaching new ideas in class. Share what you know and help each other succeed! This approach will not only serve you well in terms of your grade, but more importantly, in terms of preparing you for your next step: either graduate/professional school or collaborative work out in the paid labor force.

COVID-19 considerations

We are all going through an incredibly challenging time right now, but some of us are more adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than others. If you are struggling and have circumstances that are negatively impacting your ability to perform in this class in any way, PLEASE contact me immediately so I am aware of the barriers to your academic success. I am eager to help you and are determined to be flexible.

Late work

Please try to avoid late work. I recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has created incredibly difficult circumstances for many of you, so if you find that you cannot submit papers on time, please let me know as soon as possible so I can make accommodations for you.

Academic accommodations

The University of Texas provides, upon request, appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at 471-6259 (voice) or 232-2937 (video phone). Additional information can be found at https://diversity.utexas.edu/disability/.

Students requiring special accommodations should bring this issue to my attention as soon as possible so I can make the appropriate accommodations for the term. 

Independent inquiry designation

This course carries the Independent Inquiry flag. Independent Inquiry courses are designed to engage you in the process of inquiry over the course of a semester, providing you with the opportunity for independent investigation of a question, problem, or project related to your major. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from the independent investigation and presentation of your own work.

Writing flag designation

This course carries a writing flag. Writing flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of Critical Thinking, Communication, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

44760 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WCH 1.120
CD SB (also listed as H S 301)

Welcome to HS 301/SOC 308S! The principle objective of this course is to offer students a broad overview of health and illness in society from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We will examine how social forces influence patterns of health and disease in U.S. society, considering how economic, political and structural factors shape morbidity and mortality rates, and public health policy in the U.S. We will also explore how ingrained cultural beliefs, such as racial/ethnic and gendered biases, among others, shape public perceptions of morality and public health policies. Finally, we will explore how social forces shape the very definitions of health, illness, and disease categories, and thereby medical diagnoses and treatments, and the experience of illness in U.S. society. To this end, 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. Our journey this term will be rigorous, but exciting! By the end of the semester you will be able to confidently recognize and analyze all of the social forces that shape health and illness in U.S. society.

For those students pursing the Health and Society major in the College of Liberal Arts, this course is required. For others, this course can be used to fulfill the social and behavioral sciences component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, empirical and quantitative skills, and social responsibility. This course also carries a cultural diversity flag.

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 one’s 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.

READINGS AND OTHER COURSE MATERIALS

Course readings consist of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, timely news articles, blog posts, and other social media posts related to health and illness. Unless otherwise indicated, these are all available on Canvas, under the Files tab, organized in folders by class day. Please read and watch all assigned course materials before arriving to class any given day. Most readings are listed below and 3 posted on Canvas early in the term, but I am likely to add additional short, newsworthy articles on health and illness that occur during the term. You’ll also find that I have assigned several TED Talks and other online videos too. Finally, near the end of the semester we’ll read one book that you are responsible for purchasing or borrowing from the library—any edition is fine. It is listed below.

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

GRADING AND EVALUATION OVERVIEW

Your final course grade will be calculated as follows:

  • Squarecap responses = 10%
  • Exam #1 = 25%
  • Exam #2 = 25%
  • Exam #3 = 25%
  • Reading Responses = 15%

Total 100%

SOC 320C • Cancerland

44790 • Fall 2021
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WCP 5.102
CDWr (also listed as H S 340)

This course has several objectives. First, students will learn to step beyond their personal understandings of cancer to cultivate a more sociological and analytical approach to understanding this complex disease. By the end of the term, students will be able understand the cultural and structural forces that shape the occurrence, treatment, and experience of cancer in the U.S. The second goal of this course is to develop students’ writing skills. Through various writing assignments, students will cultivate an effective argumentative writing style as they critically evaluate cancer research and the social factors that influence how the disease is understood, treated, and depicted in popular culture. Students will spend considerable time honing their own writing, learning about the importance of revisions as they engage in rigorous edits of their peers’ work. The peer review process not only familiarizes students with basic editing skills, but also encourages collaboration and teamwork. Finally, by acting as a codiscussant once during the term, students will gain experience and confidence leading a discussion on a course topic of their choice.

COURSE MATERIALS

Course materials include various articles and book chapters and video links, most of which are available on Canvas. Please note that I reserve the right to remove, add or substitute assigned materials. There are also two required books for the course.

  • Mukherjee, Siddhartha. 2010. The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • Kalanithi, Paul. 2016. When Breath Becomes Air. New York: Random House.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

To successfully complete this course, you must read all assigned texts before each class, attend and participate regularly, co-facilitate a discussion once during the term, complete and submit assignments on time, and present on your research topic at the end of the semester.

Attendance (5%)

Attendance is mandatory in a discussion-based, writing intensive class. You can miss two classes without penalty during the term. Absences #3, #4 will result in a 10-point deduction from this portion of your grade and a loss of participation points for the day. For absences #5 and beyond, I will deduct 10 points from your final course grade for each additional absence.

Participation (20%)

Students are expected to have read all assigned readings before each class period and participate actively and respectfully in class. Students are also required to regularly respond to blog-post prompts on our discussion board. There will be a total of 16 prompts posted, and you will need to 3 thoughtfully respond to at least 12 prompts during the semester. It is also a good idea to write your own questions on the readings. Come to class willing to share your questions and actively participate in our discussions.

Leading Discussion (10%)

Students will be asked to co-facilitate a discussion once during the semester. I will pass around a sign-up sheet on 1/28 so you have plenty of time to plan with your co-discussant. I will also discuss my evaluation guidelines in advance so that you are aware of my expectations. Your attendance on the date you are leading discussion is MANDATORY.

Paper #1 (10%)

Students will write a 2-3 page (double-spaced) short paper. 

Paper #2 First draft (15%)

Students will write a 5-page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to an analysis of a specific social or cultural issue relating to cancer research or treatment.

Peer Review Reports (5%) Students will provide peer-review feedback for Paper #2. This will entail providing marginal comments and also writing a one-page peer review report for two or three of your studentcolleagues. I will distribute detailed guidelines about this process.

Paper #2 Revised Draft (20%)

After receiving my feedback, you will revise Paper #2 and resubmit it.

Paper # 3 (15%)

Students will write a 5-page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to a social or cultural issue relating to the experience of cancer.

Overall semester averages will earn the following letter grades:

  • 93-100: A
  • 90-92.9: A
  • 87-89.9: B+
  • 83-86.9: B
  • 80-82.9: B
  • 77-79.9: C+
  • 73-76.9: C
  • 70-72.9: C
  • 67-69.9: D+
  • 63-66.9: D
  • 60-62.9: D-
  • 0-59.9: F

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

30145 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM
Internet; Synchronous

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 378 • Seminar In Health/Society-Wb

30175 • Spring 2021
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
IIWr

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%

 

SOC 320C • Cancerland-Wb

44675 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr (also listed as H S 340)

This course has several objectives. First, students will learn to step beyond their personal understandings of cancer to cultivate a more sociological and analytical approach to understanding this complex disease. By the end of the term, students will be able understand the cultural and structural forces that shape the occurrence, treatment, and experience of cancer in the U.S. The second goal of this course is to develop students’ writing skills. Through various writing assignments, students will cultivate an effective argumentative writing style as they critically evaluate cancer research and the social factors that influence how the disease is understood, treated, and depicted in popular culture. Students will spend considerable time honing their own writing, learning about the importance of revisions as they engage in rigorous edits of their peers’ work. The peer review process not only familiarizes students with basic editing skills, but also encourages collaboration and teamwork. Finally, by acting as a codiscussant once during the term, students will gain experience and confidence leading a discussion on a course topic of their choice.

COURSE MATERIALS

Course materials include various articles and book chapters and video links, most of which are available on Canvas. Please note that I reserve the right to remove, add or substitute assigned materials. There are also two required books for the course.

  • Mukherjee, Siddhartha. 2010. The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • Kalanithi, Paul. 2016. When Breath Becomes Air. New York: Random House.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

To successfully complete this course, you must read all assigned texts before each class, attend and participate regularly, co-facilitate a discussion once during the term, complete and submit assignments on time, and present on your research topic at the end of the semester.

Attendance (5%)

Attendance is mandatory in a discussion-based, writing intensive class. You can miss two classes without penalty during the term. Absences #3, #4 will result in a 10-point deduction from this portion of your grade and a loss of participation points for the day. For absences #5 and beyond, I will deduct 10 points from your final course grade for each additional absence.

Participation (20%)

Students are expected to have read all assigned readings before each class period and participate actively and respectfully in class. Students are also required to regularly respond to blog-post prompts on our discussion board. There will be a total of 16 prompts posted, and you will need to 3 thoughtfully respond to at least 12 prompts during the semester. It is also a good idea to write your own questions on the readings. Come to class willing to share your questions and actively participate in our discussions.

Leading Discussion (10%)

Students will be asked to co-facilitate a discussion once during the semester. I will pass around a sign-up sheet on 1/28 so you have plenty of time to plan with your co-discussant. I will also discuss my evaluation guidelines in advance so that you are aware of my expectations. Your attendance on the date you are leading discussion is MANDATORY.

Paper #1 (10%)

Students will write a 2-3 page (double-spaced) short paper. 

Paper #2 First draft (15%)

Students will write a 5-page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to an analysis of a specific social or cultural issue relating to cancer research or treatment.

Peer Review Reports (5%) Students will provide peer-review feedback for Paper #2. This will entail providing marginal comments and also writing a one-page peer review report for two or three of your studentcolleagues. I will distribute detailed guidelines about this process.

Paper #2 Revised Draft (20%)

After receiving my feedback, you will revise Paper #2 and resubmit it.

Paper # 3 (15%)

Students will write a 5-page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to a social or cultural issue relating to the experience of cancer.

Overall semester averages will earn the following letter grades:

  • 93-100: A
  • 90-92.9: A
  • 87-89.9: B+
  • 83-86.9: B
  • 80-82.9: B
  • 77-79.9: C+
  • 73-76.9: C
  • 70-72.9: C
  • 67-69.9: D+
  • 63-66.9: D
  • 60-62.9: D-
  • 0-59.9: F

H S 378 • Seminar In Health/Society-Wb

29020 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM
Internet; Synchronous
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society-Wb

43195 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM
Internet; Synchronous
CD SB (also listed as H S 301)

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Welcome to HS 301/SOC 308S! The principle objective of this course is to offer students a broad overview of health and illness in society from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We will examine how social forces influence patterns of health and disease in U.S. society, considering how economic, political and structural factors shape morbidity and mortality rates, and public health policy in the U.S. We will also explore how ingrained cultural beliefs, such as racial/ethnic and gendered biases, among others, shape public perceptions of morality and public health policies. Finally, we will explore how social forces shape the very definitions of health, illness, and disease categories, and thereby medical diagnoses and treatments, and the experience of illness in U.S. society. To this end, 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. Our journey this term will be rigorous, but exciting! By the end of the semester you will be able to confidently recognize and analyze all of the social forces that shape health and illness in U.S. society.

For those students pursing the Health and Society major in the College of Liberal Arts, this course is required. For others, this course can be used to fulfill the social and behavioral sciences component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, empirical and quantitative skills, and social responsibility. This course also carries a cultural diversity flag.

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 one’s 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.

READINGS AND OTHER COURSE MATERIALS

Course readings consist of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, timely news articles, blog posts, and other social media posts related to health and illness. Unless otherwise indicated, these are all available on Canvas, under the Files tab, organized in folders by class day. Please read and watch all assigned course materials before arriving to class any given day. Most readings are listed below and 3 posted on Canvas early in the term, but I am likely to add additional short, newsworthy articles on health and illness that occur during the term. You’ll also find that I have assigned several TED Talks and other online videos too. Finally, near the end of the semester we’ll read one book that you are responsible for purchasing or borrowing from the library—any edition is fine. It is listed below.

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

GRADING AND EVALUATION OVERVIEW

Your final course grade will be calculated as follows:

  • Squarecap responses = 10%
  • Exam #1 = 25%
  • Exam #2 = 25%
  • Exam #3 = 25%
  • Reading Responses = 15%

Total 100%

SOC 320C • Cancerland-Wb

43220 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
CDWr (also listed as H S 340)

COURSE OBJECTIVES

This course has several objectives. First, students will learn to step beyond their personal understandings of cancer to cultivate a more sociological and analytical approach to understanding this complex disease. By the end of the term, students will be able understand the cultural and structural forces that shape the occurrence, treatment, and experience of cancer in the U.S. The second goal of this course is to develop students’ writing skills. Through various writing assignments, students will cultivate an effective argumentative writing style as they critically evaluate cancer research and the social factors that influence how the disease is understood, treated, and depicted in popular culture. Students will spend considerable time honing their own writing, learning about the importance of revisions as they engage in rigorous edits of their peers’ work. The peer review process not only familiarizes students with basic editing skills, but also encourages collaboration and teamwork. Finally, by acting as a codiscussant once during the term, students will gain experience and confidence leading a discussion on a course topic of their choice.

COURSE MATERIALS

Course materials include various articles and book chapters and video links, most of which are available on Canvas. Please note that I reserve the right to remove, add or substitute assigned materials. There are also two required books for the course.

  • Mukherjee, Siddhartha. 2010. The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • Kalanithi, Paul. 2016. When Breath Becomes Air. New York: Random House.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

To successfully complete this course, you must read all assigned texts before each class, attend and participate regularly, co-facilitate a discussion once during the term, complete and submit assignments on time, and present on your research topic at the end of the semester.

Attendance (5%)

Attendance is mandatory in a discussion-based, writing intensive class. You can miss two classes without penalty during the term. Absences #3, #4 will result in a 10-point deduction from this portion of your grade and a loss of participation points for the day. For absences #5 and beyond, I will deduct 10 points from your final course grade for each additional absence.

Participation (20%)

Students are expected to have read all assigned readings before each class period and participate actively and respectfully in class. Students are also required to regularly respond to blog-post prompts on our discussion board. There will be a total of 16 prompts posted, and you will need to 3 thoughtfully respond to at least 12 prompts during the semester. It is also a good idea to write your own questions on the readings. Come to class willing to share your questions and actively participate in our discussions.

Leading Discussion (10%)

Students will be asked to co-facilitate a discussion once during the semester. I will pass around a sign-up sheet on 1/28 so you have plenty of time to plan with your co-discussant. I will also discuss my evaluation guidelines in advance so that you are aware of my expectations. Your attendance on the date you are leading discussion is MANDATORY.

Paper #1 (10%)

Students will write a 2-3 page (double-spaced) short paper. 

Paper #2 First draft (15%)

Students will write a 5-page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to an analysis of a specific social or cultural issue relating to cancer research or treatment.

Peer Review Reports (5%) Students will provide peer-review feedback for Paper #2. This will entail providing marginal comments and also writing a one-page peer review report for two or three of your studentcolleagues. I will distribute detailed guidelines about this process.

Paper #2 Revised Draft (20%)

After receiving my feedback, you will revise Paper #2 and resubmit it.

Paper # 3 (15%)

Students will write a 5-page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to a social or cultural issue relating to the experience of cancer.

Overall semester averages will earn the following letter grades:

  • 93-100: A
  • 90-92.9: A
  • 87-89.9: B+
  • 83-86.9: B
  • 80-82.9: B
  • 77-79.9: C+
  • 73-76.9: C
  • 70-72.9: C
  • 67-69.9: D+
  • 63-66.9: D
  • 60-62.9: D-
  • 0-59.9: F

H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

29570 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 214
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 320C • Cancerland

43770 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 214
CDWr (also listed as H S 340)

Course Description 

This course will allow students to explore the social and cultural terrain of cancer research, treatment, and public policy in the United States.  We will begin the course by asking, “what is cancer,” and what shapes our collective understandings of it as a disease in American society?  As we begin our exploration, we will read historical accounts of cancer, review epidemiologic and demographic data, and consult biomedical and oncological frameworks to set the stage for our social scientific investigation.   

 We will then consider how social, cultural, economic, and political forces shape the incidence and prevalence of cancer, as well as how these social forces shape research, diagnosis, and treatment of various manifestations of this disease.  To this end, we will spend several weeks exploring how the social determinants of health influence cancer in society.  How do race/ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexuality shape our collective conversations about cancer, individual and group cancer risk, cancer research agendas, and individual experiences of cancer diagnosis and treatment?  We will also consider how the broader forces of environmental deregulation and economic inequality exacerbate cancer risk for different individuals and groups.

At the same time, research continues to show that lifestyle factors and behavioral choices shape cancer risk across socio-demographic groups in the United States. How does stress increase one’s risk for cancer, and what dietary and exercise choices help reduce one’s risk of cancer?  We will explore these questions from a sociological perspective, ever mindful of the structural constraints that make healthy choices easier for certain demographic groups.  

 Next, we will investigate how cultural ideas and social norms shape our understanding of different cancer diagnoses, treatment options, and the experience of cancer.  We will examine how the politicization of health care in contemporary society shapes our understandings of cancer and cancer treatment. Specifically we will consider how cervical cancer prevention efforts have been politicized in the HPV vaccine debates and how defunding Planned Parenthood would have effect of decreasing access to routine cancer screenings for many poor and minority women.  

 We will conclude the class by exploring how a cancer diagnosis shapes one’s identity or sense of self by considering how the newly diagnosed experience the “sick role” both in biomedical arenas and in their social circles.   By the end of the course, students will not only be well versed in recent cancer scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, but they will also be well prepared to ask and answer their own social research questions about cancer and other medical conditions as they pursue their scholarly interests in the health sciences. 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

Attendance (5%)

Attendance is mandatory in a discussion-based, writing intensive class. You can miss two classes without penalty during the term. Absences #3, #4 will result in a 10-point deduction from this portion of your grade and a loss of participation points for the day. For absences #5 and beyond, I will deduct 10 points from your final course grade for each additional absence.

Participation in Class (20%)

Students are expected to have read all assigned readings before each class period and participate actively and respectfully in class. Students are also required to post two discussion questions to Canvas each week on weeks when readings are assigned. 

Leading Discussion (10%)

Students will be asked to co-facilitate a discussion once during the semester.

Short Writing Assignment (5%)

Students will write a 2-3 page (double spaced) short paper as a response to a cancer-related news article, drawing on specific sources assigned for the course. 

Paper #1 First draft (15%)

Students will write a 5-6 page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to

an analysis of a specific social or cultural issue relating to cancer research or treatment.

Peer Review Reports (5%)

Paper #1 Revised Draft (20%)

Paper # 2 (20%)

Students will write a 5-6 page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to a social or cultural issue relating to the experience of cancer. 

 

 

 

H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

29105 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 214
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

43430 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM WCP 1.402
CD SB (also listed as H S 301)

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 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

29535 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 214
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

29550 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 214
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 320C • Cancerland

44270 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 214
Wr (also listed as H S 340)

Course Description 

This course will allow students to explore the social and cultural terrain of cancer research, treatment, and public policy in the United States.  We will begin the course by asking, “what is cancer,” and what shapes our collective understandings of it as a disease in American society?  As we begin our exploration, we will read historical accounts of cancer, review epidemiologic and demographic data, and consult biomedical and oncological frameworks to set the stage for our social scientific investigation.   

 We will then consider how social, cultural, economic, and political forces shape the incidence and prevalence of cancer, as well as how these social forces shape research, diagnosis, and treatment of various manifestations of this disease.  To this end, we will spend several weeks exploring how the social determinants of health influence cancer in society.  How do race/ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexuality shape our collective conversations about cancer, individual and group cancer risk, cancer research agendas, and individual experiences of cancer diagnosis and treatment?  We will also consider how the broader forces of environmental deregulation and economic inequality exacerbate cancer risk for different individuals and groups.

At the same time, research continues to show that lifestyle factors and behavioral choices shape cancer risk across socio-demographic groups in the United States. How does stress increase one’s risk for cancer, and what dietary and exercise choices help reduce one’s risk of cancer?  We will explore these questions from a sociological perspective, ever mindful of the structural constraints that make healthy choices easier for certain demographic groups.  

 Next, we will investigate how cultural ideas and social norms shape our understanding of different cancer diagnoses, treatment options, and the experience of cancer.  We will examine how the politicization of health care in contemporary society shapes our understandings of cancer and cancer treatment. Specifically we will consider how cervical cancer prevention efforts have been politicized in the HPV vaccine debates and how defunding Planned Parenthood would have effect of decreasing access to routine cancer screenings for many poor and minority women.  

 We will conclude the class by exploring how a cancer diagnosis shapes one’s identity or sense of self by considering how the newly diagnosed experience the “sick role” both in biomedical arenas and in their social circles.   By the end of the course, students will not only be well versed in recent cancer scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, but they will also be well prepared to ask and answer their own social research questions about cancer and other medical conditions as they pursue their scholarly interests in the health sciences. 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION

Attendance (5%)

Attendance is mandatory in a discussion-based, writing intensive class. You can miss two classes without penalty during the term. Absences #3, #4 will result in a 10-point deduction from this portion of your grade and a loss of participation points for the day. For absences #5 and beyond, I will deduct 10 points from your final course grade for each additional absence.

Participation in Class (20%)

Students are expected to have read all assigned readings before each class period and participate actively and respectfully in class. Students are also required to post two discussion questions to Canvas each week on weeks when readings are assigned. 

Leading Discussion (10%)

Students will be asked to co-facilitate a discussion once during the semester.

Short Writing Assignment (5%)

Students will write a 2-3 page (double spaced) short paper as a response to a cancer-related news article, drawing on specific sources assigned for the course. 

Paper #1 First draft (15%)

Students will write a 5-6 page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to

an analysis of a specific social or cultural issue relating to cancer research or treatment.

Peer Review Reports (5%)

Paper #1 Revised Draft (20%)

Paper # 2 (20%)

Students will write a 5-6 page paper (double-spaced) that applies course concepts and theories to a social or cultural issue relating to the experience of cancer. 

 

 

 

H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

29670 • Fall 2018
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM RLP 3.106
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

44700 • Fall 2018
Meets MW 8:30AM-10:00AM UTC 4.122
CD SB (also listed as H S 301)

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.

 

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

44705 • Fall 2018
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM UTC 2.112A
CD SB (also listed as H S 301)

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 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

38690 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 214
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

38700 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 214
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

39115 • Fall 2017
Meets M 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 214
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

45320 • Fall 2017
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM CLA 0.126
CD SB (also listed as H S 301)

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.

 

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

45325 • Fall 2017
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM CLA 0.102
CD SB (also listed as H S 301)

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 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

38885 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM CLA 0.122
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

45320 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CLA 0.126
SB (also listed as H S 301)

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.

 

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

45325 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CLA 0.130
SB (also listed as H S 301)

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 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

38323 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CBA 4.344

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.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and Health and Society 301.

Designed to accommodate 35 or fewer students.

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

44465 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CAL 100
(also listed as H S 301)

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.

 

SOC 317M • Intro To Social Research

44495 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:00PM CLA 0.118
IIQRWr

Course Description:

How do social scientists know what they know? This course strives to address that question by introducing students to the research methods used by sociologists to understand the world around them. The following are among the topics covered in this course: 1) How to link social theory with empirical inquiry; 2) How to identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative approaches to social research; 3) How to critically understand and evaluate the claims made by social scientists about their research findings; 4) How to analyze, interpret, and present survey data; and 5) How to conceptualize and design a research project. The course will also cover the ethics and politics of conducting social research. Additionally, there will be a lab component to this course, which will take a “hands on” approach to the material covered in class and provide students with the necessary skills to analyze survey data.

Required Readings:

 

In addition to articles and readings that will be provided on the course website, we will use the following textbook:

Babbie, Earl. 2013. The Practice of Social Research (13th Edition). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Course Grading:

Grades for the course will be based on two exams (exam 1 = 20%, exam 2 = 20%), an analysis paper (15%), a research proposal (20%), a class presentation (5%), lab assignments (15%), and class participation (5%).

Attendance in class and at the lab is required and will be factored into the class participation component of the grade. Make-up exams will not be allowed, except in extreme circumstances. Late assignments will only be accepted if approved in advance by the professor.

 

SOC 317M • Intro To Social Research

44575 • Fall 2015
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM CLA 0.118
IIQRWr

Description:

How do sociologists understand and study the world around them?  This course introduces students to the ways in which social scientists pose and answer questions.   First, this course begins by considering how knowledge production is situated within a specific historical and cultural context and is shaped by power relations within society.   Some questions are simply easier—politically, logistically, legally—to ask and answer.  Other questions are difficult to broach or effectively investigate, and are sometimes fraught with ethical concerns.  We will also explore how theory is linked to empirical discovery, which in turn, tests, builds, and/or refines theoretical understandings of the social world.  Students will examine the process of social research by 1) considering the research questions that social scientists routinely ask, 2) examining the methodological approaches social scientists use to answer their research questions, 3) analyzing the claims authors make in existing research studies, and 4) investigating the ethical issues that shape the context of inquiry and the process of social research.  This course adopts a hands-on approach to research methods.  As such, students will be expected to collect and analyze data in labs as well as outside of class.

 

Readings: 

Textbook TBA, other readings to be posted to Canvas

SOC 323 • The Family

44635 • Fall 2015
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM BUR 214
Wr (also listed as WGS 345)

 Description:

This course explores the family as a social institution in American society. The primary goal of this class is to encourage students to step beyond their personal experiences and cultivate a more sociological and analytical approach to the family.  By the end of the term, students will be able understand the cultural and structural forces that shape family life, and how these dimensions can shift, but also resist change over time. We will begin with a historical overview of the family where we will contextualize and challenge nostalgic depictions of the family in popular culture.  Throughout the term we will chart multiple dimensions of family life, including dating, cohabitation, marriage, parenting, childhood, and divorce, and changing ideas of the American family, to name a few.  We will adopt a sociological perspective, considering how gender, race, class, sexuality, and other social factors shape family relationships and family life.  We will also consider alternate family structures that were once dismissed as deviant (e.g. having children outside marriage and gay marriage) but are increasingly common and continue to shape public policy in the 21st century.  This course carries a writing flag designation and so also seeks to develop students’ writing skills throughout the term.

Texts:                         

TBA

Grades:           

Two Papers 45%

 Journal Writing Assignments  20%

Peer Reviews   5%

 Attendance and Participation  20%

Group Presentation on a topic about the Family 10%

                        

SOC 307J • Education And Society

44879 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CPE 2.210

Description:

This course introduces students to the sociological study of education.  The overarching goal of this class is to enhance students’ understanding of how the educational system works, how schooling shapes the opportunities available to children and adolescents, and how educational attainment influences the lives and wellbeing of adults.  This course will begin with an overview of the history of the American educational system. We will then explore the myriad factors that shape achievement and learning, beginning when children are young, considering such topics as school readiness, early childhood education, and the role of parents and caregivers in shaping educational opportunities.  As we consider older children, our focus will shift toward questions involving the significance of schools, peers, and communities, and topics such as youth culture, identity issues, bullying, truancy, social media, violence in schools, and college culture. We will spend a considerable amount of time exploring differential access to educational opportunities along race, class, and gender lines, and how these social variables shape student experiences and future outcomes. We will also explore the links between educational stratification and employment, income, relationships, health, parenting behaviors, and other outcomes. Finally, throughout the course we will keep an eye on recent debates in and challenges to the educational system in the U.S. including educational reform, the evaluation of teachers and teacher tenure, the charter school movement, and differences between public and private schools at all educational levels.

Texts:                         

One required textbook to be determined. Empirical journal articles, and other                                    required reading materials will be posted to Canvas.

Grading:         

Exams 70%

Paper exploring a contemporary issue in education  20%

Attendance and in-class writing exercises   10%

 

                                               

                       

            

 

SOC 323 • The Family

45019 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 0.118
Wr (also listed as WGS 345)

 Description:

This course explores the family as a social institution in American society. The primary goal of this class is to encourage students to step beyond their personal experiences and cultivate a more sociological and analytical approach to the family.  By the end of the term, students will be able understand the cultural and structural forces that shape family life, and how these dimensions can shift, but also resist change over time. We will begin with a historical overview of the family where we will contextualize and challenge nostalgic depictions of the family in popular culture.  Throughout the term we will chart multiple dimensions of family life, including dating, cohabitation, marriage, parenting, childhood, and divorce, and changing ideas of the American family, to name a few.  We will adopt a sociological perspective, considering how gender, race, class, sexuality, and other social factors shape family relationships and family life.  We will also consider alternate family structures that were once dismissed as deviant (e.g. having children outside marriage and gay marriage) but are increasingly common and continue to shape public policy in the 21st century.  This course carries a writing flag designation and so also seeks to develop students’ writing skills throughout the term.

Texts:                         

One textbook to be determined                   

Edin, Kathryn and Maria Kerfalas. 2011.  Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Lareau, Annette. 2011. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, Second Edition with an Update a Decade Later.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Broyland, Jennifer Finney. 2013.  Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders. New York: Broadway Books.                    

Additional Readings posted to Canvas

Grades:           

Two Papers 45%

 Journal Writing Assignments  20%

Peer Reviews   5%

 Attendance and Participation  20%

Group Presentation on a topic about the Family 10%

                        

SOC 308S • Intro To Health & Society

46120 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WEL 2.246
(also listed as H S 301)

Course Overview:

This course explores health, illness, and biomedicine from a sociological perspective. Specifically, we will examine how social forces influence health and disease in U.S. society.  To this end we will consider how and why rates of disease vary among different populations and how cultural and structural inequalities shape access to healthcare and affect morbidity and mortality.  We will also examine how social forces shape the very definitions of health, illness, and disease categories, and thereby medical diagnoses and treatments.  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?  After mid-term break, we will spend considerable time examining the medical profession in our society— its historical emergence, how it established (and continues to maintain) professional autonomy, but also how it is now changing to respond to myriad challenges.  We consider the social consequences of the commodification of healthcare, and how new medical and information technologies are transforming our current healthcare system and the nature of the patient-physician relationship. 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. We will conclude the term by focusing on the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the subsequent challenges to this health care legislation, and what it means for the future of health care in the U.S.

Course Goals:

This course has many goals.  By the end of the term, students should be able to:

  • contextualize and analyze contemporary health problems in the U.S. and abroad from a variety of disciplinary and professional perspectives. 
  • explain how social and cultural factors shape contemporary understandings and experiences of health and illness in U.S. society and around the globe
  • critically evaluate the motives and evidence people, professions, agencies, organizations, and corporations, use to make specific claims about health and illness. 
  • recognize the importance of social characteristics in assessing health outcomes for different demographic groups and populations.

 

 Required Reading:

         Course readings include scholarly articles, book chapters, a variety of public health, medical, and popular media publications, and three books, which are listed below.  Readings have been selected to acquaint students with the basic theoretical frameworks and subfields within medical sociology, but also – and perhaps more importantly – to enable them to make their own judgments about contemporary topics in health discourse and public policy.  The majority of the course readings will be available on Blackboard/Canvas.  I reserve the right to make changes to the assigned readings schedule throughout the term.  If and when I add additional readings during the semester, I will post them on Blackboard/Canvas, or in some cases, distribute them in class.  

Fadiman, Anne. 1997.  The Spirit Catches You and Then You Fall Down.  New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Reid, T. R. 2010. The Healing of America: a Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. New York: Penguin.

Brawley, Otis. 2012.  How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Course Requirements and Grading:

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:

 

Pop-quizzes and in-class writing exercises                                                           10%

Students are expected to attend class, to read assignments before each class, and actively participate in classroom discussions during the week.  Quizzes will check your comprehension, but also keep you on track.  There will be 4 in-class writing assignments that will ask you to respond to a prompt. After 10 minutes, they will be collected and given a score of full credit, partial credit, or no credit. They each count for 1% of your grade. Three pop quizzes will also be administered during the term. Your two highest quiz grades will count, and each will be worth 3% towards your final grade.

 Exam #1    September 30th                                                                                   20%

 Exam #2    October 28th                                                                                       20%

 Paper Assignment                                                                                                 20%

You will write one paper during the term, choosing between two paper assignments offered during the course of the semester.  The paper will be approximately 5 pages in length (not to exceed 6 double-spaced pages), and will answer a specific question related to course topics.  Specific assignments will be distributed on the dates indicated below. Due dates are firm. Electronic submissions of papers will NOT be accepted. 

OPTION 1:  Essay exploring morality and health

                  A detailed assignment will be passed out on October 2.

                  (5 pages, DUE October 16 at the beginning of class)

 OPTION 2:  Essay on contemporary health care challenges      

                  A detailed assignment will be passed out on November 6.

                  (5 pages, DUE November 20 at the beginning of class)

  

Final Exam Friday, December 12th  2-5p.m.                                                         30%

 

 

 

SOC 323 • The Family

46220 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as WGS 345)

This course analyzes the family as a social institution, using the sociological perspective. 

Studying the family can be tricky in that we all have our own experiences being part of families.  It is important, then, to go beyond our own experiences to explore both the private aspects of the family as well as public aspects of the family using various kinds of empirical data.  Shifting definitions of the family are the context for a brief history of the family.  Throughout the course we will explore family change. Specific topics will include dating, “hooking up” and marriage; parents and children; cohabitation, divorce and stepfamilies; and how the family intersects with, is shaped by, and shapes other social institutions, with particular attention to the economy and the world of work as well as state and social policies.

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  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086
    512-232-6300