Foundations of Social Epidemiology
June 14 - July 7, 2021
Course Number: 340.666.89
Students learn to apply social epidemiologic concepts, introduced through weekly online lectures and readings, and the use of discussions and case studies. Prepares students to understand and appreciate the contribution of social factors to disease etiology, course and the distribution of states of health in populations. After reviewing the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of social epidemiology from an historical perspective, we focus on the scientific findings in the field from the 1970's until today. The influence of social context on behavior is well known, and forms the backbone for most health promotion interventions; we focus initially on how the social environment influences behavior, by shaping norms, reinforcing social control, providing environmental opportunity, and coping strategies.
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
Explain the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the field of social epidemiology and discuss the major unsolved issues confronting the field
Demonstrate the quality and limitations of measurement of key social conditions influencing health and illness of populations
Distinguish between psychological (individual-based) approaches to discussing health disparities from the social perspective (community-based), and demonstrate how the empirical literature critically supports these differences for a particular health or disease state.
Operate within and facilitate a discussion group format
Methods of Assessment:
Online lecture quizzes (35%), Individual Assignment I (15%), In-class activities and leading discussions (30%), and a second Individual Assignment II (20%)