Course Descriptions

Required Courses

Health & Society students should contact the Program Coordinator for an advising appointment each spring.

If a Health & Society student is unable to get into a Health & Society course, then they should contact the Program Coordinator.

AP/SOSC 1801 6.0  Health Controversies: Issues of Health, Illness and Society
This course is a part of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies General Education Program and will fulfill the General Education requirements for Social Science. It is designed to provide interdisciplinary knowledge and breadth in the area of Health & Society.

Health, illness and healing are concepts considered so familiar that they are widely taken for granted among the general populace.  Nevertheless, concepts of health, illness and healing have been at the centre of the most politically and ideologically charged debates with which societies have grappled.  While these debates largely take place beyond the awareness of the general public, their outcomes have direct implications for our health.  In the occasional instances when the political and ideological nature of health, illness and healing become visible, they are labeled by media as ‘Health Controversies.’ Therefore, health controversies provide an engaging and practical way to study the political, economic, socio-cultural and historical aspects of health, illness and healing.  Through an examination of some of the major historic and current health controversies in North America and globally, this course examines issues and themes that are foundational to a critical, interdisciplinary study of Health & Society.  The course will lead students to appreciate the many factors that influence the health and illness in society, as well as the politically and ideologically charged nature of healing.

AP/SOSC 2110 6.0  HEALTH: Systems, Cultures and Powers (formerly A Critical Study of Health & Society)
The objective of this course is to help students see health in its broader framework: economic, social, political and cultural.  We will explore the idea of health, not as a monolithic system, but as a set of beliefs and practices that have been negotiated and debated over time.  Over the year, students will gain a critical sensitivity to the values embedded both in biomedicine and in alternative health discourses and practices, as well as an understanding of health in its wider social and global contexts.  The course readings and lecture material are interdisciplinary, drawing on anthropology, sociology, human geography and history.  Students are encouraged to make links between their own lives and experiences and the material covered in the course.

Skills that students will develop in this course will be the ability to read critically, to write in a scholarly fashion, analyze, and to discuss issues.  Course assignments include journals, an essay and a fieldwork project.

AP/SOSC 3993 3.0 Strategies of Social Science Research
(Required for all HESO degrees excepting Honours Linked Double Major)

This is a course in critical social science methodology, and is designed to improve students' abilities to read and evaluate social research.  The major research methods will be studied using exemplary texts and hands on assignments. The methods considered and compared are: quasi-experiments, surveys, ethnography, historical method, case studies, text analysis, and action research.

The course is not primarily about how to conduct a research project, although the skills developed in the course are essential for researchers as well as for those who rely on social science knowledge in support of public policy and social action.  Rather, the emphasis is on acquiring the ability to understand and evaluate research findings and reports. This ability is essential in any career or undertaking that relies on empirical evidence and analysis as the basis for rational decisions.

AP/SOSC 4140 6.0  A Health & Society Seminar
This seminar integrates theoretical and practical approaches to the field of Health & Society.  It provides advanced students with the opportunity to develop analytic and research skills through the intensive study of a single topic.  The topic of the course changes from year to year.

Pre-requisites: the completion of at least 84 credits, including AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 and AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, or written permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 4147 6.0  A Health & Society Seminar: Health and Place
For the 2016-17 academic year, AP/SOSC 4147 6.0 will replace AP/SOSC 4140 6.0 as the required 4th year course for the Honours BA in Health & Society.)
This interdisciplinary course presents health as rooted in and shaped, informed and understood by place. Students learn that health and place is about climate, geography, sociability, health democracy, landscape, movement, the body, food, and culture. Course readings are drawn from across the social sciences and health studies. Learners will become versed in theories relating to therapeutic landscapes, social capital, the constructed environment, intersectionality in health, the impact(s) of climate change, and health, place and memory. A learning objective of the course will be student use of theory to enhance and communicate their understandings of health and place.

Working collaboratively with web-based technologies and applying concepts and skills acquired in the course, learners undertake an extensive neighbourhood/ community case study of health and place.

Pre-requisites: the completion of at least 84 credits, including AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 and AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, or written permission of the instructor.

Recommended Courses

AP/SOSC 2101 3.0  Political Economy of Health
This course explores challenging global health issues and analyses them from a critical standpoint using political economy as a theoretical framework. It covers social and economic factors and the health-illness process, constructions of health and illness, the bio/medical model, the material, cultural and environmental foundations of health, and the medical industrial complex. It provides also introductory notions of Health Systems and Health Transitions in the Industrial Western World. This course is intended to be a collective learning experience where students are also requested to work in teams to prepare a research paper and an in/class presentation.

AP/SOSC 2102 3.0  Health Systems in the Global Society
This course explores Health Systems from a comparative and international perspective. It analyses health changes, health technology and their impact on health care delivery, medical practice, health care funding and discusses the targets and the challenges for health in a global world. It covers also the health reforms in the public and in private Health Systems and provides an international perspective of Health Systems for the 21st Century. This course is intended to be a collective learning experience where students are also requested to work in teams to prepare a research paper and an in/class presentation.

AP/SOSC 2150 6.0 Health In Crisis: Issues Of Health, Environments And Poverty
This course examines contemporary health issues within the context of the social, the economic, the political, the cultural and the ecological environments that affect well-being. Students will learn to think about health issues in ways that go beyond human biology and lifestyle. The objective of this course is to introduce students to key concepts, models and theories in health studies that promote a greater understanding of the social production of health, illness, disease and well-being. Topics covered in the course include: the impact of economic and social inequality on health, unsafe working conditions that cause illness, injury and death, the effect of changing practices in food and drug production/consumption on health, and the health-related consequences of environmental toxins in our air, land and water. The course will also examine policy initiatives, as well as citizens’ advocacy and activism to foster change and improve health. In this course, health issues affecting individuals, communities, and nations are studied from a critical, interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on fields such as anthropology, sociology, history and women’s studies.

AP/SOSC 3090 6.0 Medicine and North American Society in Historical Perspective (same as AP/HIST  3990 6.0 A)

This course explores people’s conceptions of health, their experiences of disease, illness and disease, focusing on North America from the time of contact between Europeans and Aboriginal peoples to the present. The course draws on several disciplines, including history, anthropology and sociology, as well as medicine and allied sciences. However, particular emphasis is placed on history as a discipline. Lectures and tutorials will allow students to consider the ways in which history is created and used and the various types of documents that historians draw upon to reconstruct the past. Resources used in the course will help students to develop critical research skills with respect to both primary and secondary materials.

AP/SOSC 3101 3.0 Health & Development In The Global South
Health for the Third World population means the right to survive, and to live without the constant menace of illness or dying from preventative, contagious diseases.  The gap between our world and the Third World is the difference in quality of life and the persistence of inequalities within and between northern and southern countries.  In health this difference is even more dramatic. Health is the basis for development, but development is, at the same time, the basis for health.

This course discusses critical health issues in the Third World and their relationship to the political economy of development.  It analyses socio-economic systems, the morbidity-mortality patterns, the demographic and epidemiological transitions and the triple burden of health problems in developing countries.  Special attention is given to the study of the comparative Health Systems in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

AP/SOSC 3103 3.0 Health: International And Comparative Perspectives
Health is much more than the absence of disease.  Health does not lie in the operating room of hospitals or in the laboratories of pharmaceutical companies.  Health is the basis for development, but development is, at the same time, the basis for health. This course discusses the burden of diseases in the Third World, Health transitions, political changes and consequences for health policies, public health, policies and practices and the new changes and reforms, as well as alternative practices and health interventions.  It concludes with the challenges for Health in the twenty-first Century.

AP/SOSC 3113 6.0 Health Care Professions: Theories And Issues
This course explores the concept of "profession" in the context of health care work.  It examines the role of the state, patriarchy and corporate interests in encouraging medical dominance, and in excluding other healers from the attainment of full professional status. It discusses how inequalities of class, gender and race are played out in health care structures.  In addition, the course considers the challenges to medicine, such as the expansion of alternative medicine, the effects of restructuring, the legalization of some excluded health professions and the expansion of the area of practice of other health professions.  It considers the application of the new managerialism and legislation on the prevailing power structures with particular reference to the blurring of professional boundaries, the potential increased control of management and the state over professional practice and the occupational health of health professionals.

AP/SOSC 3114 6.0 Special Topics in Health and Society: Food and Health
Course Director: Ian Mosby
Term: FW
Time: W 11:30-2:30
Room: 230 BC

Food is critical to our very survival. But beyond simply preventing starvation, how much we eat and which kinds of food we eat are key factors in determining a whole range of both immediate and long-term health outcomes. Because of this, food plays a key role in the production and re-production of certain social relationships structured around categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, age and class. This critical health studies course seeks to unpack some of the complex relationships by exploring the ways in which human health continues to be a product of the politics, culture and science of food. The course will draw from a wide range of contemporary approaches to the study of food and health including critical nutrition studies, science and technology studies and food studies.

AP/SOSC 3115 (3122) 3.0 Special Topics in Health and Society: Childhood and Health
This course is in the process of being approved. It has been assigned the temporary course number 3115 but its final course number will be 3122.
This course examines the interdisciplinary complexity of what constitutes our definition of the “healthy” child. Students examine cross-cultural definitions of “childhood,” and learn that to be “healthy” entails more than a mere absence of disease. Critical inquiry demonstrates that geography, economics, politics, food security, social capital, sexuality, gender, mental health, homelessness, disability and media all play an integral role in the lived experiences and health outcomes of children.

AP/SOSC 3115 F 3.0  Special Topics in Health and Society: Health, Storytelling and Media
Course Director: Jon Johnson
Term: F
Time: W 4-7
Room: 109 CC

Our ideas about life, death, morality, illness, health, as well as our own identities and experiences are defined and expressed through stories. Story and storytelling have also been utilized by various groups as a medium through which to educate, persuade, and change people’s health-related ideas and behaviors. Stories matter a great deal – they have the potential to hurt and to heal. In this course students will explore how stories, storytelling, and media have been used to create, express, and influence complex, contentious, and interconnected meanings of health, illness, and healing.

AP/SOSC 3115 W 3.0  Special Topics in Health and Society: Disability and Society
Course Director: Lykke de la Cour
Term: W
Time: M 11:30-2:30
Room: 111 MC

AP/SOSC 3116 6.0  The Patient
This course will focus on ‘the patient’ – both as a social construction and as an active agent.  In the first section of the course, we will consider the ways in which patients are constructed and understood by those who have power over their lives.  To do this we will look at the creation of ‘the patient’ as a medico-sociological typology, exploring how race and gender intersect in this process.  In the second section of the course, we will evaluate patient agency and patient rights groups as differential power bases both within, and outside institutions, and analyse patient accounts of health and illness, the institutional experience and the patient-health practitioner relationship.  This course will be run primarily as a seminar, with films and lectures included as well.  Students will be expected to come to discussion groups prepared to discuss critically both the assigned reading and the document or ‘text’ chosen for that week.  The seminar readings are academic articles on the weekly topic, but the documents will range from architectural blueprints for asylums to pages from a patient case history, to art.

AP/SOSC 3117 3.0 Cultures of Addiction
This course examines the role that culture plays in a wide range of addictions. It draws on historical and ethnographic materials to investigate the ways in which changing social conditions and cultural assumptions have shaped specific addictions and their treatment.

In contrast to theories that see addiction as a uniform biochemical process, the course develops the idea that much of what matters about addictive substances and practices – their experiential effects, their impact on health and livelihood, even much of their “addictiveness” – arises from the particular social and cultural contexts in which they appear. It begins historically, by examining the origins and shifting meanings of addiction in the modern West and by considering the social history of the major addictions in North America. This sets the stage for a series of comparative case studies of addictions in diverse cultural settings ranging from the Canadian north to the slums of New York and Mumbai. The course then turns to cultural developments in the field of addiction treatment, focusing especially on the Twelve-Step movement and drug-free therapeutic communities. It concludes by looking at the relatively recent rise of activity addictions (exercise, shopping, the internet) and the growing importance of addiction as a cultural idiom for general problems in living.

AP/ SOSC 3118 3.0  Politics of Addiction
Addictions often bring conflicts between those who enjoy or profit from them and those who deplore their effects. This course examines the forces behind these conflicts, their influence on public policies and some of their social consequences.

Public policies regarding addiction have been strangely inconsistent. Some unhealthy and potentially addictive behaviours (smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol) are tolerated and taxed, while others (using heroin, cocaine or marijuana) are criminalized, and still others, such as gambling, are promoted as a source of state revenue. These policies vary from place to place and have shifted over time. What accounts for their differences? What effects have they had? How and why do they change? In addressing these questions the course moves from an opening discussion of theoretical issues to a series of historical case studies in the public control of addictive substances, looking especially at alcohol, opiates and tobacco. Lessons drawn from these studies will then inform an analysis of current policy debates on such topics as harm reduction measures for heroin addicts, decriminalization of marijuana, state-sponsored VLT gambling, and court-mandated treatment for alcoholics.  The course concludes by considering political dimensions and implications of the global trade in drugs.

AP/SOSC 3121 3.0   Race and Health
This course takes an intersectional approach to examining health. Intersections and interactions of race with other social, political and economic factors such as gender, class and ability are studied as the major determinants of the health of racialized groups, especially racialized women, in Canada and the USA.

AP/SOSC 3168 3.0  Environmental Health
In this course we will examine environmental health from a social science perspective. Our focus will be the sources of conflicts between health professionals, lay people policy makers and others over how environments cause diseases.  We will pay particular attention to uncertain knowledge and how this creates problems for stakeholders both in defining the problem, setting policies, attributing blame, compensating victims, and addressing the issues.  Themes include the politics of pollution, the social construction of environmental problems, different perceptions of risk and science, problems of requiring definitive proof that a substance is hazardous, claims-making and citizen responses.

AP/ SOSC 3169 3.0 (W) Occupational Health
This course uses a political economy perspective to place occupational issues within a broader context and thus focuses on the interface between power, economy, culture and health in people’s working lives. The course explores the ways in which occupational health problems are created by scientific uncertainty and the social construction of risk.  It examines how the work environment creates conditions that result in occupational   disease and injury, analyses the effects of power relationships and technology on occupational health, and highlights le occupational health problems. This course goes beyond the concept of occupational health problems related to industrial work to explore problems related to women’s work and marginal work.  It concludes by examining the effects of our current policies on injured workers.

AP/SOSC 3361 6.0  Disability and the Law
This course examines the trajectory of disability rights legislation, in Canada, the United States and Britain, from civil rights to human rights frameworks, incorporating critical perspectives from legal studies, disability studies, and feminist and critical race theory. The course critically scrutinizes the historical, the theoretical and the conceptual frameworks that underpin legal recourses around disability, questioning the transformative value of a human rights perspective around disability and the limitations associated with legal mechanisms in adequately challenging the social and the economic disadvantages associated with disability.

AP/SOSC 3362 6.0  Law, Medicine and Madness
We are a culture fascinated with the concept of “madness.” The mad person has been simultaneously represented in popular culture as genius, artistic, comedic and dangerous. There is something profoundly stable about the historical positioning of individuals identified as mentally 'disordered' at the outer boundaries of Canadian social and political life. This interdisciplinary course traces the conceptual and political history of madness, explores the social meanings of madness and mental illness at key historical moments in Canada, and highlights the interface between the social institutions of law and medicine.

The themes of the course aim to contextualize the rise and practices of psychiatric medicine and the psychiatric ‘expert’ in a political climate preoccupied with concerns about of social decent, qualities of citizenship and National identity. Against this broader context, the course also addresses a number of important ongoing/current issues surrounding mental health/illness, including scientific racism, eugenics, law and public policy, poverty/homelessness, discrimination and human rights, and the mentally disordered offender.

AP/SOSC 3920 6.0  Disability And Society: Historical, Socio-Cultural And International Perspectives
This course examines disability as a social identity and as a social construct, exploring how and why experiences and conceptualizations of disability vary historically and trans-culturally, and the intersectionality of disability with “other” categories of social analysis, such as class, gender, race, and sexual orientation/identity. Drawing on the insights and the theoretical frameworks developed within the field of disability studies, this course studies disability from a theoretical, interdisciplinary perspective, stressing the importance of context (social, cultural, and political) in shaping state and popular responses to the differently-abled in various national settings.

AP/SOSC 3921 6.0 Indigenous Health & Healing: Interdisciplinary And Traditional Dialogues
Indigenous communities deal with alarming rates of health problems, such as diabetes, compared to non-Indigenous populations, but many of these health issues have proven resistant to conventional biomedical treatments. At the same time, Indigenous cultures across the globe possess understandings of health and healing that differ greatly from dominant Western biomedical views. Indigenous knowledge and healing practices are integral not only for healing Indigenous peoples, but also provide important clues for how to better deal with many modern health and environmental crises. Students will learn how historic and contemporary injustices perpetuated against Indigenous peoples continue to undermine the health of Indigenous groups and will explore Indigenous understandings of health and healing. Students will also examine different approaches to healing Indigenous communities to discover what is involved in healing from colonial injustice.

AP/SOSC 4113 3.0  Advanced Seminar: Knowledges And Practices In Health
This seminar examines different kinds of expert and lay knowledge of health and illness and their interplay within pluralistic medical systems.  Health and healthcare are becoming increasingly diverse, and multiple beliefs about what makes people sick, how you treat them, and how you prevent illness create challenges at many levels - - from the home, to the healthcare system, to local, national and international health agencies.  On a practical level, the care we give at home and seek from experts depends not just on science, but on a curious mixture of common sense, folklore, personal experience, popular fashion and various alternative medical theories and practices. The course attempts to understand this complexity by looking closely at specific cases and what they can teach us about the interplay of different assumptions about sickness, healing and healthcare.  It considers a range of perspectives– lay vs. expert, medical vs. social, “scientific” vs. “alternative” and traces varied responses to those perspectives, as each of these approaches generates its own narratives and has distinctive policy implications.

Pre-requisites: the completion of at least 84 credits, including AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 and AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, or written permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 4141 6.0  Women and Health
This course focuses on developing research, analytical and writing skills through individual research, discussion, group collaboration, and individual and group writing.  The goal of this course is to research the area of women and health with a particular emphasis on the relationship between biological and social conceptions of women’s health and emphasis on the different experiences of different women. We discuss issues of power and inequality throughout the course by examining various topics, such as technology and science, medicalization, violence and conflict, body image, conception and fertility, menopause, aging, and women’s roles as care-givers, and activists.   The seminar requires active participation and research by all members throughout the course.

Pre-requisites: the completion of at least 84 credits, including AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 and AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, or written permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 4142 3.0 Art And Art Making For Health Research And Practice
Over the past decade, health researchers and practitioners have begun to turn towards arts-based methodologies to disseminate findings, engage communities and impart knowledge.  In the process, core questions regarding the techniques, utility and limitations of using art in the service of health sciences have surfaced.  This course will consider the role of arts-based methodologies in qualitative, health-related social science research and health promotion practice by taking up five such questions:  1) How can art be used in health research?  2) How can art be used in health promotion practice?  3) What are the benefits of utilizing art in the service of health sciences?  4) What are the limitations of utilizing art in the service of health sciences? 5) How might such artistic practices be evaluated, or understood in terms of benefit and impact?  Each week we will be looking at examples of health-related art created both for “art’s sake” and for the purposes of health intervention.  The course is organized around different art genres, and as such, we will be interrogating each art form with our five core questions.  How does each genre ‘speak,’ and what can these voices add to health science research and practice? This course focuses on developing research, analytical and writing skills through individual research, discussion, group collaboration, and individual and group writing.

Pre-requisites: the completion of at least 84 credits, including AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 and AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, or written permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 4143 6.0 Disability and Cultural Representation
Disability activists and scholars identify cultural representations of disability as a critical location for the construction of hegemonic attitudes to and social perceptions of disability.  Using an interdisciplinary framework, this course examines dominant portrayals of disability in media such as art, cinema, dance, theatre and literature, exploring shifting historical and trans-cultural representations of impairment. Topics covered in the course include: constructions of disability in art, narratives of deformity and disability western literature, the phenomena of freak shows, cinematic representations of disability, and contemporary counter-cultural productions by disability activists. This course views cultural constructions of disability as both productive in and a product of constitutive processes around social “othering” and marginalization, not only with respect to disability, but also class, race and gender relations.

Pre-requisites: the completion of at least 84 credits, including AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 or AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, or written permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 4144 6.0 Engaging Health in the Community
This course applies academic knowledge of health, health advocacy, and health care systems to experience in community settings through classroom study and the application of social science research methods in student placements in health-related organizations and agencies.

Pre-requisites:  AP/SOSC 3993 3.0 and AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 and AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, and the completion of 84 credits, or permission of the instructor.  Students who wish to enroll in this course must file, in the spring prior to taking the course, an application form available from the Health & Society Program Assistant and will be interviewed prior to being accepted into the course. 

AP/SOSC 4145 3.0  The Brain, Self and Society
This course is designed for fourth year students in social sciences interested in neurosciences and psychiatry. It introduces students to different disciplinary perspectives on neurosciences, the self, neuropsychiatry, and narratives of the brain in contemporary biomedicine. This seminar leads advanced students through explorations of epistemological and ontological shifts in neurosciences and personhood, in both the global South and the North.

Pre-requisites: the completion of at least 84 credits, including AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 and AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, or written permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 4146 3.0  Health and Humanitarianism
This course examines the field of health and humanitarianism with attention to the historical, social and political-economic forces that shape it.

Open to: 4th year HESO majors and other social science students with permission

Pre-requisites: the completion of at least 84 credits, including AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 and AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, or written permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 4150  3.0 Aging and Caregiving
We will examine the perceptions and the reality of caring for an older person.
There are personal, family and societal implications as we look at innovations in caregiving, dealing with various disabilities and illnesses. We examine breakthroughs as well as barriers to care. Technology, music, continuing education, brain studies are a few exciting areas to explore.

We will also examine the myths and realities of aging in societies and relate them to experiences to growing old in families and communities.  Mass media depictions of the aged, issues of ageism, family dynamics, gender roles and abuse of the elderly are among the issues we will explore in terms of the social construct of age.  The field of social gerontology is expanding with great rapidity.  We examine theories and concepts that emerge from this research.

Pre-requisites: the completion of at least 84 credits, including AP/SOSC 1801 6.0 and AP/SOSC 2110 6.0, or written permission of the instructor.

AP/SOSC 4710 6.0 Urban Field Experience
This course involves a field placement that provides students with the opportunity to gain relevant professional experience working with an organization.  Students commit one day a week (or the equivalent time) to projects defined by a public or private agency within the Greater Toronto Area. Each student's work is supervised by a staff member of the agency where they are placed and is monitored by the Course Director. This project should yield a product that both meets the agency's requirements and is suitable for academic credit. Details of each student's responsibilities will be arranged before the beginning of the academic year among the three parties involved--the student, the agency supervisor and the Course Director.

Students who wish to enroll in this course must attend an orientation session in April and file both an application form and resume from the Urban Studies Program Assistant. Students should have at least 90 credits.  Urban Studies majors are given priority.

Health & Society Related Course Options

These courses are mounted by other departments and faculties across the University and may be selected to provide greater breadth or to pursue specific interests.

N.B.  For course evaluation, enrolment, and instructor, please refer to that Department’s Course Calendar


AP/ANTH 3050 3.0 (F) Disabling Lives: Anthropological Interpretations of Disability Through Autobiography

After considering approaches that are distinctive to the interpretation of disability, this course considers autobiographical interpretations from social science perspectives. The above perspectives will then be combined by asking students to consider disability biographies.

Course credit exclusions: AP/ANTH 3080 6.00.

AP/ANTH 3080 6.0 Modes of Enablement: A Cultural Perspective on Physical Disability*
A comparative look at visible and non-visible disabilities, the relationship between the disabled and others. Topics include the symbolic and behavioural correlates of physical disability, relationships between the disabled, their support persons and the health professionals.

Course credit exclusions: AP/ANTH 3050 3.00.
PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AS/ANTH 3000G 3.00 (prior to Fall/Winter 2003-2004), AS/ANTH 3050 3.00 and AS/ANTH 3080 6.00.

AP/ANTH 3190 3.00  Nutritional Anthropology: Food and Eating in Cross-Cultural Perspective*
This course examines nutritional anthropology from a biocultural perspective, stressing the social and cultural determinants of food use in industrial and developing societies.  It examines the linkages between food, health and ethnic identity in the context of globalization.

AP/ANTH 3200 3.0 (W) The Anthropology of Int’l Health
Emphasizing the interplay of culture, history and political economy, this course explores health problems in the developing world.  Topics include analyses of international health development ideology and practice, and case studies in infectious diseases, maternal mortality, child survival, hunger and malnutrition.

AP/ANTH 3280 6.0 Psychiatric Anthropology and Social Stress
This course is concerned with furthering the mutual relevance of social anthropology and psychiatry, and with developing a true anthropology of suffering. It integrates theories and findings from the fields of medical anthropology, transcultural psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, in its focus on psychosocial stress research.

AP/ANTH 3330 6.0 Health and Illness in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Comparative perspectives on health, illness and medical systems are studied from the viewpoint of anthropology and related disciplines. Emphasis is placed on understanding the roles of the practitioner and patient in their social and cultural contexts and the importance of applied medical anthropology to the wider community. Course credit exclusions: AS/ANTH 3330 6.00 and AS/ANTH 4330 6.00.

AP/ANTH 4160 3.00 (W) Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples’ Health
Contemporary and historical First Nations and Indigenous health issues are explored from a medical anthropological perspective. Using ethnographies, case studies and media-related resources, and focusing primarily within Canada, students critically analyse the cultural, political, and social contexts of First Nations health and illness. Priority access is given to upper level honours students.

AP/ANTH 4330 3.0 (F) Critical Issues in Medical Anthropology
Comparative perspectives on health, illness and medical systems are studied from the viewpoint of anthropology and related disciplines. Emphasis is placed on understanding the roles of the practitioner and patient in their social and cultural contexts and the importance of applied medical anthropology to the wider community. Course credit exclusions: AP/ANTH 3330 6.00.

School of Equity Studies

AP/HREQ 3761 3.00 (F & W) Canada’s Social Policy (same as AP/POLS 3170 3.00)
Examines Canadian federal, provincial and municipal programs aimed at those outside the paid labour force. Programs covered include health care, child care services and benefits, old age pensions, social assistance and disability. Covers current debates on future of the welfare state. Course credit exclusions: Course credit exclusion: AK/POLS 3761 3.00.

AP/HREQ 3830 6.0  Women’s Health & Medical Practice*
Women, family health care and medical practice are examined in a historical and cross-cultural perspective.  Areas of discussion: women’s roles as mothers, patients, lay healers, midwives, employees and health professionals; childbirth, abortion, menstruation, sexuality and menopause; medicalization and social control; medical sexism and racism.  Not open to students who have taken AP/SOCI 3391G 3.0.

AP/HREQ 3850 6.0 Gender Violence and Social Policy
Violence against women, children, and the elderly, examined in historical and cross cultural perspective.  Areas to be discussed include: emotional impact of abuse; racist and patriarchal ideology, sex industry and the media; treatment of abusers; legal practices and the state.  Prerequisite: a 1000-level course in Social Science.

Course credit exclusions: Course credit exclusions: AK/SOCI 3850 6.00, AK/WMST 4502 6.00, GL/WMST 4602 6.00, AK/WMST 3001L 6.00 (prior to Summer 1995).

AP/HREQ 4240 6.0  Health, Society and Human Resources*
Using both historical and comparative materials from sociology and anthropology this course examines the relationship between human health and social and economic organization.  It focuses on cultural definitions of health and illness, care and cure on the one hand, and the ideology and social institutions of the larger society on the other.


AP/HUMA 3320 6.0 Caribbean Thought: Post-Colonial Perspective
By focusing on influential post-colonial theorists, this course examines 20th century attempts to rethink the Western humanistic tradition from the point of view of colonized and formerly colonized peoples.
Course credit exclusions: None. 


AP/PHIL 3575 3.0 (W) Introduction to Bioethics
The aim of this course is to explore the philosophical dimensions of bioethics.  Bioethics can be understood as the branch of applied ethics that investigates and proposes practical responses to moral problems that rise in medical practice and in the development, use and distribution of resources in the health care system.

Political Science

AP/POLS 3170 3.0 (F) Canada’s Social Policy
Examines Canadian federal, provincial and municipal programs aimed at those outside the paid labour force. Programs covered include health care, child care services and benefits, old age pensions, social assistance and disability. Covers current debates on future of the welfare state.

AP/POLS 3300 6.0  Statistics for Social Sciences*
Note: HESO students are advised to take this course if they wish to pursue graduate studies in Public Health or Health

This course provides a basic understanding of the statistical reasoning and fundamental statistical techniques frequently used to analyze social data. It introduces students to the uses of computers and statistics in the social sciences. It helps develop necessary critical skills to evaluate empirical research.

AP/POLS 4161 3.0 (W) Health Policy in Canada
The critical issues in health care delivery are quality, cost, and availability.  Interactions between and among health care consumers, providers, payers, and regulators are examined in terms of their impact on those three central issues.

AP/POLS 4162 3.0 (F) Issues in Canadian Health Policy
This course applies the analytical framework developed in AP/POLS 4620 3.0, Health Policy in Canada, to the study of specific aspects of the Canadian health care system.  The specific topics addressed are determined both by their timeliness and by the expressed interests of the students.


AP/SOCI 3550 6.0 Sociology Of Aging
This course examines interpersonal, cultural, demographic and political aspects of aging and retirement. Gender, class and other major factors are discussed, along with familial, government and self-help responses to seniors' needs.

PRIOR TO FALL 2010: Prerequisite: A 1000-level Social Science course. Course credit exclusions: AK/SOCI 3550 3.00, AK/SOCI 3550 6.00, AS/SOCI 3850 3.00.

AP/SOCI 3820 6.0  Sociology of Health and Health Care
Social factors related to health and physical and mental illness will be discussed, including comparative examinations of the healing process.  The social organization of systems of health care will be explored, including recruitment and socialization of health care personnel, hospitals as social institutions, stratification in medicine, emergence of professional medicine and alternatives to it and development of the health promotion perspective.

AP/SOCI 3850 6.0  Gender, Violence and Social Policy
Violence against women, children, and the elderly, examined in historical and cross-cultural perspective. Areas to be discussed include: emotional impact of abuse; racist and patriarchal ideology; sex industry and the media; treatment of abusers; legal practices and the state.

Prerequisite: A 1000-level course in Social Science.
Course credit exclusions: AP/WMST 4502 6.00, GL/WMST 4602 6.00.
PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Prerequisite: A 1000-level course in Social Science. Course credit exclusions: AK/SOCI 3850 6.00, AK/WMST 4502 6.00, GL/WMST 4602 6.00

AP/SOCI 3950 3.0 (F ) Exploring Disability
Drawing on traditional and contemporary theoretical frameworks for understanding disability, this course introduces students to the field of disability studies. Within a comparative perspective, the course explores legal frameworks, social policy, advocacy and rights movements, citizenship, identities and representations. Course credit exclusion: AS/SOCI 3950 3.00.

AP/SOCI 4072 3.0 (W) Sociology of Human Reproduction
This course seeks to describe and analyze contemporary rapid social change occurring in the knowledge, conduct and regulation of human reproduction, investigating this change across multiple institutional sites such as techno-science, kinship, the health system and social movements.

Course credit exclusions: None.
Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/SOCI 4072 3.00.

AP/SOCI 4300 3.0 (F & W) Sociology of Health Care Delivery

The course examines the theoretical models sociologists employ in analysing relationships within the health-care system.  It shows how the medical and other health professions have developed in Canada within the context of the growth and change of the medicare system, its organization, and administration.

Women’s Studies

AP/GL/WMST 3511 3.0 Women Sexualities
This course examines the constructions of women's sexualities historically and currently. The influence of religion, medicine, law, media and the state are critically examined as are women's attempts to shape their own sexuality as heterosexuals, bi-sexuals and lesbians.

AP/GL/WMST 3548 3.0 Telling Stories About Our Bodies*
This course introduces students to various feminist and linguistic theories and methodologies to help them identify and interrogate women's narratives of victimization, resistance and survival. These discursive representations are presented in various forms, including interview excerpts, creative non-fiction and autobiography.

AP/GL/WMST 3554 3.0  Women and Madness
Critically analyzes conceptualizations of women, mental health normalcy, mental illness and madness using intersectional and critical feminist frameworks. Draws on scholarly literature from a range of disciplines as well as first-person analyses of women and madness. Course credit exclusions: None. Note: An introductory course in Women's Studies is recommended.

Science & Technology Studies

SC/STS 3750 6.0  Genetics, Evolution and Society*
This course will adopt a variety of STS perspectives to examine the interplay between the life and social sciences and biotechnology from the mid-19th century to the present.

SC/STS 3780 3.0 (F) Biomedicine in Sociohistorical Context
An examination of the changing relationship between biomedical research and technologies, medical practice, and social structures since 1800. Topics may include: risk and medical screening, public health, medical specialization, tropical medicine, immunology, microbiology, psychiatric illness and psychopharmacology.

Faculty of Health

Health Studies

HH/HLST 3010 3.0 (F &W) Social Determinants of Health
Societal factors determine why some people stay healthy and others become ill. This course examines how these determinants of health influence health. Focus is upon income, stress, early life, social exclusion, work conditions, unemployment, social support, addiction, food and transportation. Prerequisite: For BHS students AK/HH/HLST 1000. All other students AK/HH/HLST 1000 6.00 or for those with equivalent preparation, permission of course instructor. Note: AK/HH/HLST 3010 3.00 is open to students with an appropriate academic background in health and with permission of the Chair of the school of health policy and management. Course credit exclusion: None.

HH/HLST 3015 3.0 (W) Pharmaceutical Politics and Policy
Examines the place of pharmaceuticals in the Canadian health care system. Focuses on conflicts among stakeholders in policy formation, costs and physician prescribing behaviour.

HH/HLST 3230 3.0 (F & W) Integrated Health Systems in Canada
Examines and critiques the elements and concepts of an evolving integrated health system (HIS) in Canada.  The evolution and the socio-political-economic impact of this new evolving holistic and integrated health-healing model from an inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral perspective are studied.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 24 credits or permission of course instructor. Course credit exclusion: None.

HH/HLST 3400 3.0 (F & W) Health Care Management and Improvement
Analyzes issues related to health system improvement. Examines quality improvement theory and techniques and considers the barriers and facilitating factors for bringing about improvement in the delivery and outcomes of health care faced by managers, clinicians and organizations. Prerequisites: Successful completion of 24 credits or permission of course instructor. Course credit exclusion: None.

HH/HLST 3510 3.0 (S) Poverty and Health in Canada: Current Evidence and Policy Responses
Examines evidence related to the increasing incidence of poverty in Canada and the mechanisms by which poverty threatens the health of both the poor and not poor. Explores various potential policy responses.

HH/HLST 4130 3.0 (W) Public Policy and Disabilities
This course examines public policy approaches to disability in Canada and other western nations. It considers the extent to which public policy can provide persons with disabilities access to societal resources; voice in policy development and opportunities for participation in everyday life. Prerequisites: AK/HH/HLST 1000 6.00 and AK/HH/HLST 2020 3.00 or equivalents. Course credit exclusion: None.

HH/HLST 4140 3.0 Mental Health Policy*
Involves an analysis of mental health policy, from early conceptualizations and approaches to mental health care, to more recent societal approaches, government initiatives and legislation in the Canadian and other international contexts.


HH/PSYC 3170 3.0 (F & W) Health Psychology
This course explores the developing role of psychology in the health field. It provides psychological frameworks that elucidate the (non) practice of health behaviours, the role of stress in illness, adjustment to and coping with illness and representations of health/illness. Prerequisites: AK/AS/HH/SC/PSYC 1010 6.00 or AK/HH/PSYC 2410 6.00, with a minimum grade of C. Course credit exclusions: AS/SC/PSYC 3440 3.00 (prior to Summer 2002), AS/HH/SC/KINE 3100 3.00, AS/HH/SC/KINE 4050D 3.00 (prior to Summer 1997), AS/HH/SC/KINE 4710 3.00, GL/PSYC 3635 3.00.

HH/PSYC 3490 3.0 (F & W) Adult Development and Aging
An examination of data and theories relating to the psychology of adult development and aging. Major topics include biological and psychological theories of aging; age changes in intelligence, personality and social relations; pathologies of old age and methods of intervention. Prerequisites: AK/AS/HH/SC/PSYC 1010 6.00 or AK/HH/PSYC 2410 6.00, with a minimum grade of C. Course credit exclusions: AK/PSYC 3700D 3.00 (prior to Summer 2002), GL/PSYC 3310 3.00.

HH/PSYC 3560 3.00  Psychology of Death and Dying*
This course considers issues and topics in thanatology including sociocultural influences on our understanding of death, care of the dying and medical ethics. It examines research and theory in aging and illness, adjustment to life-threatening conditions and grief reactions. Prerequisite: AK/AS/HH/SC/PSYC 1010 6.00 or AK/HH/PSYC 2410 6.00, with a minimum grade of C. Course credit exclusions: AK/PSYC 3290 3.00 (before Summer 2002), AK/AS/HH/SC/PSYC 4250 3.00, AK/HH/NURS 4790B 3.00.

Other Related Health Courses:
The HESO Coordinator will consider credit for other related health courses on an individual basis.  Students should make an appointment to see the Coordinator before taking these courses.  Transfer students from other faculties must make an appointment to see the Coordinator to discuss which courses can be counted towards their HESO degree.


For a list of current course offerings, please visit the York University Courses Website.