Fall 2020  |  SOC 4246 Section 001: Sociology of Health and Illness (31640)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
Completely Online
Class Attributes:
Online Course
Enrollment Requirements:
soph or jr or sr
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
09/08/2020 - 12/16/2020
Off Campus
Virtual Rooms ONLINEONLY
Enrollment Status:
Closed (80 of 80 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
This course is an introduction to the importance of health and illness in people's lives, how social structures impact who gets sick, how they are treated, and how the delivery of health care is organized. By the end of the course you will be familiar with the major issues in the sociology of health and illness, and understand that health and illness are not just biological processes, but profoundly shaped by the organization of society. prereq: One sociology course recommended; soph or above; soc majors/minors must register A-F
Class Notes:
This course is completely online in an asynchronous format. There are no scheduled meeting times. Click this link for more detailed information: http://classinfo.umn.edu/?eroberts+SOC4246+Fall2020
Class Description:
Although everyone gets sick and everyone eventually dies there are important social differences in what illnesses people have, how they are treated and cared for, and how long they live. This class introduces you to the key issues in the sociology of health by reading classic and important articles and books in medical sociology. Assignments will introduce you to the applied work of medical sociology through an examination of real medical records, and then a final paper on a topic of your choice. Please contact the instructor for a copy of the syllabus and with questions: eroberts@umn.edu.
Who Should Take This Class?:
This class will be of most interest to students intending a career in the health professions (not limited to medicine), intending to sit the MCAT or other pre-health professional exams, and those intending to work in social services, justice, or health administration.
Learning Objectives:
This class provides an overview of sociological approaches to health and medicine. We 1) examine social differences in health outcomes and behavior, 2) sociological approaches to understanding health and medical care, and 3) sociological understandings of the health care system starting from the organization of medical care and ending with a comparative examination of national health care systems. By the end of the class you will have a clear understanding of social issues in health and medicine, and be prepared to understand these issues when you encounter them in your career.
Participation and discussion (20%), Research proposal and bibliography (30%), Research paper (40%), Research presentation (10%)
Exam Format:
No exam
Class Format:
Largely asynchronous with regular online discussions with the professor in small groups. Students in different timezones or for whom technology is challenging will be accommodated with alternative discussion arrangements.
Approximately 1 hours of class time per week and 8 hours of independent work on reading and research in accordance with UMN guidelines (3 hours per week per credit). Owing to the pandemic, more of the workload will be independent reading. There will be regularly scheduled discussions with the professor in small groups.
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/eroberts_SOC4246_Spring2018.pdf (Spring 2018)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
20 July 2020

ClassInfo Links - Fall 2020 Sociology Classes

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