medical sociology syllabus project

A few years ago, Neal Caren started the “intro to sociology syllabus project” on scatterplot, and it was such a useful resource for me and many others. Extending that project, this post is a space to share medical sociology syllabuses (or Society & Health, Sociology of Health & Illness, or– as you’ll see below– any of the many other course titles we use for related classes).

Many thanks to everyone who has shared their syllabus with me! If you sent me a syllabus and have an update, I’ll happily post. And if you’d like to participate, please send me your syllabus. If you end up borrowing ideas from any of the syllabuses below, I recommend sending the instructor a note so they can know that their syllabus was useful to you.

Instructor(s)Course Name/ LevelMain Text/Readings
*Additional readings in most cases; see syllabus
Elaine Hernandez
Soc 101- Social Problems and Policies: Medicine in AmericaCockerham. 2017. Medical Sociology, 14th edition.Syllabus
Rachel Donnelly (Vanderbilt)Soc 1020- Contemporary Social Issues: Health and SocietyAssorted chapters, articles, & other materialsSyllabus
Stefan Timmermans (UCLA) Soc 170- Medical Sociology: Caring in the Medical Care SystemAbraham. 1993. Mama Might Be Better Off Dead.
Fadiman. 1997. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.
Starr. 1982. The Social Transformation of American Medicine.
Tania Jenkins (UNC)Soc 1576- Introduction to Sociology for Health ProfessionsConley. 2017. You May Ask Yourself, 5th edition.
(Optional: Jauhar. 2008. Intern.)
Alka Menon (Yale)SOCY 127-
Health and Illness in Social Context
Watkins-Hayes. 2019. Remaking a Life.Syllabus
Alya Guseva (Boston)Soc 215- Health and SocietyWeitz. 2020. The Sociology of Health, Illness, & Health Care, 8th edition.Syllabus
Ajlina Karamehic-Muratovic (St Louis University)Soc 2490- Sociology of MedicineWeiss & Copelton. 2021. The Sociology of Health, Healing, & Illness, 10th edition.Syllabus
Magdalena Szaflarski (UAB)Soc 283- Sociology of Mental HealthCockerham. 2017. Sociology of Mental Disorder.
Karp & Sisson. 2010. Voices from the Inside.
Shawn Bauldry (Purdue)Soc 374- Medical SociologyWeiss & Lonnquist. 2017. The Sociology of Health, Healing, & Illness, 9th edition.Syllabus
Aida Isela Ramos (UMHB)Soc 3350- Sociology of HealthWeiss & Lonnquist. 2017. The Sociology of Health, Healing, & Illness, 9th edition.Syllabus;
Assignment (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3)
Corey Stevens (SIUE)Soc 383- Medicine, Health, & SocietyConrad & Leiter. 2019. The Sociology of Health & Illness, 10th edition.Syllabus; Assignment
Kenzie Latham Mintus (IUPUI)Soc R381- Social Factors in Health & IllnessConrad & Leiter. 2019. The Sociology of Health & Illness, 10th edition.
(Optional: Fadiman. 1997. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.)
Syllabus; Final Paper (Option 1; Option 2; Suggested Timeline; Checklist)
David Russell (Appalachian State)Soc 3600- Medical SociologyCockerham. 2017. Medical Sociology, 14th edition.Syllabus; Presentation Schedule
Tania Jenkins (UNC)Soc 3525- Urban HealthAbraham. 1993. Mama Might Be Better Off Dead.
Fink. 2016. Five Days at Memorial.
Rosenberg. 1987. The Cholera Years, 2nd edition.
(Optional: Klinenberg. 2015. Heat Wave, 2nd edition)
Rene Almeling (Yale)SOCY 390/629- Politics of ReproductionAssorted chapters, articles, & other materialsSyllabus
Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk (University at Buffalo, SUNY)SOC 322- Medical SociologyWatters. 2011. Crazy Like Us.
Tweedy. 2016. Black Man in a White Coat.
Ryan Masters (CU-Boulder)SOCY 4052- Social Inequalities in HealthPhillips. 2001. Darwin’s Worms.
Johnson. 2007. The Ghost Map.
Andrea Tilstra (CU-Boulder)Soc 4052- Social Inequalities in HealthCockerham. 2013. Social Causes of Health and Disease, 2nd edition.Syllabus
Anna Zajacova (UWO)Soc 4408- Advanced Sociology of Health and IllnessGawande. 2014 Being Mortal.Syllabus; Video Guides (1, 2, 3); Assignments (1, 2)
Deborah Carr (Boston)Soc 418/818- Social Inequalities in HealthBerkman, Kawachi, & Glymour. 2014. Social Epidemiology, 2nd edition.
Carr. 2014. Worried Sick.
Syllabus; Response Memos (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Deborah Carr (Boston)Soc 418/818- Death and DyingBonanno. 2019 The Other Side of Sadness.
Doughty. 2018. From Here to Eternity.
Gawande. 2014. Being Mortal.
Syllabus; Writing Assignments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Jennifer Jennings (Princeton)Soc 414- Sociology of MedicineKidder. 2009. Mountains Beyond Mountains.
Johnson. 2007. The Ghost Map.
Daniel Menchik (Arizona)Soc 410- The Hospital: A Small SocietyBosk. 2003. Forgive and Remember, 2nd edition.Syllabus (includes assignment details)
Josh Seim (USC)Soc 475- Medical SociologyAnsel. 2017. The Death Gap.
Seim. 2o20. Bandage, Sort, and Hustle.
Syllabus (includes reading guides/ summaries for assigned articles and chapters)
Evan Roberts (Minnesota)Soc 4246- Sociology of Health and IllnessCockerham. 2017. Medical Sociology, 14th edition.Syllabus
Patricia Thomas (Purdue)Soc 571- Health & BehaviorAssorted chapters, articles, & other materialsSyllabus
Corey Stevens (SIUE)Soc 590- Health, Illness, & SocietyMetzl. 2019. Dying of Whiteness.
Metzl & Kirkland. 2010. Against Health.
Davis. 2015. Contesting Intersex.
Duffy, Armenia, & Stacey. 2015. Caring on the Clock.
Ellen Idler (Emory)Soc 531- Sociology of Health and IllnessCockerham. 2010. The New Blackwell Companion to Medical Sociology.Syllabus (assignments included)
Brea Perry & Jane McLeod (Indiana)Soc 660- Social Origins of Health InequalityAssorted chapters, articles, & other materialsSyllabus
Elaine Hernandez
Soc 660- Social Origins of Health InequalityAssorted chapters, articles, & other materialsSyllabus
Josh Seim (USC)Soc 658- Sociology of Health and MedicineAnsel. 2017. The Death Gap.
Seim. 2o20. Bandage, Sort, and Hustle.
Syllabus (includes reading guides/ summaries for assigned articles and chapters)
Mieke Beth Thomeer (UAB)Soc 781- Sociology of Health and IllnessKempner. 2014. Not Tonight.
Sulik. 2010. Pink Ribbon Blues.
Hoppe. 2017. Punishing Disease.
Shim. 2014. Heart-sick.
Mieke Beth Thomeer (UAB)Soc 724- Body & HealthAlmeling. 2011. Sex Cells.Syllabus
Magdalena Szaflarski (UAB)Soc 780- Advanced Medical SociologyCockerham. 2013. Medical Sociology on the Move.
Newhart and Dolphin. 2019. The Medicalization of Marijuana.
Magdalena Szaflarski (UAB)Soc 783- Health Care Delivery SystemsBarr. 2016. Introduction to US Health Policy, 4th edition.
Rosenthal. 2017. An American Sickness.
Syllabus; Group mini-projects; Final project
Phil Brown (Northeastern)Soc 7287- Social Movements in HealthA. Nelson. 2013. Body and Soul.
J. Nelson. 2015. More than Medicine.
Zavella. 2020. The Movement for Reproductive Justice.
Wylie. 2018. Fractivism.
Lilla Pivnick & Faith Deckard (UT-Austin)Health & Society (Texas Prison Education Initiative)Assorted chapters, articles, & other materialsSyllabus
Mieke Beth Thomeer (course director; syllabus created in collaboration with other instructors; UAB)Dent 1110- Dentistry & Culture (taught in Dental School)Assorted chapters, articles, & other materialsSyllabus; Debate assignment
*NOTE: Some of these taught post-March 2020, meaning include COVID-19 content or have been adjusted to be taught online (if previously in person) or in hybrid format.

a checklist to reduce your word count and polish your writing

The following is a guest post by Emma Frankham.

“There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting” – Attributed to Poet Robert Graves

Academics spend significant time learning research skills. However, little time is devoted to learning writing and editing skills. Through providing academic editing services I’ve developed a checklist for writing improvement. I arm myself with this checklist, the ASA Style Guide, and The Chicago Manual of Style. Following this checklist will reduce your word count, tighten your argument, and improve the flow of your writing. I hope you find this checklist helpful when you wrangle with your next manuscript.

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teaching the new economic sociology of race & racism

In 2018, I taught my first graduate seminar on economic sociology. In general, I was very happy with how the syllabus and course came together. But I struggled to figure out how to best incorporate discussions of race & racism into the course. There just wasn’t very much research on the topic in economic sociology. For the course, I mostly borrowed work that’s usually identified as part of either inequality or organizations research, and then talked about my frustration in not finding a robust conversation within economic sociology proper (to the extent those fields are separable, which is its own important conversation). This frustration is part of what motivated my collaboration with Laura Garbes where we 1) examine the history of economic sociology’s (non)engagement with race, and 2) offer an overview of recent developments in the sociology of race with the aim of guiding economic sociologists who do want to put race & racism at the center of their work. In this post, I return to my initial motivations to offer suggestions about how I would approach teaching race & racism in an economic sociology graduate seminar in light of the work that Laura and I have done, and in light of new research that has emerged in the past couple years at this intersection.

Continue reading “teaching the new economic sociology of race & racism”