For current course listings, please see https://sociology.ubc.ca/courses/

SOCI 384 - Sociology of Health and Illness

This 300-level lecture course provides students with an introduction to central topics in the sociology of health and illness. Students will engage with, apply, and critique social determinants of health, fundamental cause theory, cultural health capital, social construction of illness, and social identities and health. Considerable efforts will be made throughout the course to apply these topics using two of the most critical empirical cases of our time: the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. It is also designed to help students develop skills in critical thinking via reading and reflecting on these topics and their engagement in articles reporting empirical research and in the media. We will examine key issues and critical debates in both Canadian and international contexts.

Next offered: 2023-2024 Winter Term I (Sep-Dec)

SOCI 495/599 - Demography of Disasters

Climate change is exacerbating the severity and patterning of extreme weather hazards that cause disasters. At the same time, population settlement patterns and infrastructural investments are rendering more groups at risk of exposure, with key consequences for population mortality, morbidity, migration, and fertility. In this joint advanced undergraduate and graduate-level seminar, we examine the interrelationship between climate change, disasters, and population processes, using both sociological and demographic perspectives. Course content focuses on both the population causes of climate change and related disasters, and on the population consequences of disasters. The readings encompass both theoretical and empirical work. Particular attention will be paid to social inequalities along axes of race/ethnicity/indigeneity, socioeconomic status, and gender, and to methodological innovations, such as the use of remotely sensed data, spatial data, social media data, and administrative data.

Next offered: 2023-2024 Winter Term II (Jan-Apr)

SOCI 2XX - Environments, Structures, and Health Inequalities

(Note course proposal in-progress) In Canadian society, health is primarily viewed as an individual achievement and an aspect of our lives over which we have control. But how do structural factors, like where we live, work, and play, determine our health, or even when and how we die? How do contemporary and historical sociospatial processes affect population health and health equity? This course introduces students to environmental perspectives on the determinants of morbidity and mortality across the life course in Canada, focusing on British Columbia. Students will examine how the environment, conceived in terms of political, economic, social, and natural factors, structure our lifestyle choices and opportunities in ways that are often not apparent to the lay observer. Connections are made throughout the course between these factors and legacies of settler colonialism, structural racism, and capitalism. Students will engage, critique, and synthesize core concepts and theories in the study of environmental determinants of health, including feminist theories, critical race approaches, indigenous perspectives on health, and the political economies of place. 

Next offered: TBD