Overview of Course
Why is pregnancy and infertility medicalized in parts of the world and not in others? Why do some countries experience global pandemics differently than others? How is mental illness socially and culturally constructed in different spaces and places? The answers to all of these questions may be found through a new understanding of the relationship between medicine, health and society. As an introduction to medical sociology, this course will provide students with an understanding of how social signifiers, such as race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexuality, and age, contribute to disparities in health across different places with a focus on the port countries. Throughout the voyage, students will be encouraged to examine the changing sociologies of health and illness in both a global and local context. Topics will include health care systems, COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, women’s health, water, obesity, and mental health. Special attention will be given to the role of medicalization in the transformation of certain human conditions into categories of health and illness.