SOC181 - Sociology of Health

Outline information
Schools offering this subject
Last revision date May 25, 2020 12:03:42 AM
Last review date Aug 3, 2020 12:15:01 AM

Subject Title
Sociology of Health

Subject Description
Though most people have some idea of what it means to be in good health, health is not as straightforward a concept to understand as we may assume. In a sociological perspective, health is understood as a social construction and dependent on a myriad of factors. Both our health and illness, and the manner in which we understand these concepts, are influenced by social and environmental factors. The purpose of the course is to provide a sociological framework for understand the social determinants of population health and the factors that shape the health and illness behaviour of Canadians. The course will also introduce students to key concepts of population health.

Credit Status
One credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Deconstruct the sociological construction of population health and illness as the foundation for practice.
  2. Compare approaches to health and illness, such as bio-medical, biopsychosocial or public health approaches to expand theoretical frameworks.
  3. Incorporate social factors/determinants of health and wellness into community practice.
  4. Apply theoretical approaches to the social determinants of health to understand current issues in health care locally, provincially and nationally. 
  5. Differentiate systems and services of the local and provincial health care system as a foundation for practice.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.