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APSS 6402 Issues in Health Sociology

Description

APSS 6402 Issues in Health Sociology
Fall semester, 2021/2022
Lecture time: Wednesdays, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Lecture venue: N101 / Online at Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Course Description
Medical sociology concerns on the social causes and consequences of health and illnesses. The subject aims to sharpen students’ understanding of the relationship between health and society and how they impact on each other. Special focus is given to the application of sociological concepts and theories to the analysis of current trends and issues of health beliefs, health practices and health policies. It also facilitates students’ development of a global outlook and a critical frame of mind, as well as analytical and communicative skills essential for both professional and self-development.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Critically assess the complex and interacting relationship between health and society and their mutual impacts on each other;
  2. Critically analyze and evaluate current trends in health related issues both locally and globally by using sociological theories; and
  3. Critically appraise sociological concepts and theories in analysing various issues in relation to health related conditions, beliefs, behaviours, and health care systems  
    Course Syllabus

Week 1: 1 September 2021
Introduction of the course and medical sociology
Readings:
Cockerham W.C. (2013). Chapter 1 Medical sociology. Medical Sociology. Pearson Education.
Turner B.S. (2004). The new medical sociology: social forms of health and illness. New York: W.W. Norton.

Week 2: 8 September 2021
Choice of remedies and medical systems
Readings:
Kleinman A. (1980). Orientations 2: Culture, health care systems, and clinical reality. Patients and healers in the context of culture: An exploration of the borderland between Anthropology, Medicine, and Psychiatry. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Siu J.Y.M. (2016). Coping with future epidemics: Tai chi practice as an overcoming strategy used by survivors of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in post-SARS Hong Kong. Health Expectations, 19(3): 762-772. doi: 10.1111/hex.12270.
Baer H.A. (2001). Biomedicine and alternative healing systems in America: Issues of class, race, ethnicity, & gender. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press.

Week 3: 15 September 2021
Sick role
Readings:
Cockerham W.C. (2013). Chapter 8 The sick role. Medical Sociology. Pearson Education.
Siu J.Y.M. (In press). Imprisoned in the cultural stereotypes of overactive bladder: Cultural meanings of disease and sick role adaptation in Hong Kong. Nursing Research.

Week 4: 22 September 2021
The Day following Mid-Autumn Festival: No class

Week 5: 29 September 2021
The social construction of health, medical knowledge, and illness
Readings:
Kleinman A. (1981). Chapters 4 and 5. Patients and healers in the context of culture: An exploration of the borderland between anthropology, medicine, and psychiatry. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Week 6: 6 October 2021
Health inequality: Health and disease in relation to social class and race
Readings:
Cockerham W.C. (2013). Chapter 3 The social demography of health: social class. Medical Sociology. Pearson Education.

Week 7: 13 October 2021
Health and disease in relation to gender: the diseased body and regulation of bodies
Readings:
Cockerham W.C. (2013). Chapter 4 The social demography of health: gender, age, and race. Medical Sociology. Pearson Education.
Miles A. (1993). Chapter 7 The medical control of women. Women, health and medicine. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Week 8: 20 October 2021
Disease-associated stigma and discrimination
Readings:
Kleinman A. (1988). Chapter 10 The stigma and shame of illness. The illness narratives: suffering, healing & the human condition. Basic Books.
Siu J.Y.M. (2015). Influence of social experiences in shaping perceptions of the Ebola virus among African residents of Hong Kong during the 2014 outbreak: A qualitative study. International Journal for Equity in Health, 14(1): 88. doi: 10.1186/s12939-015-0223-6
Siu J.Y.M. (2008). The SARS-associated stigmas of the SARS victims in the post-SARS era of Hong Kong. Qualitative Health Research, 18(6): 729 – 738. doi: 10.1177/1049732308318372.

Week 9: 27 October 2021
Mass media and health representation
Readings:
Wright K.B., Sparks L., O’Hair H.D. (2008). Chapter 8 Mass communication and health. Health communication in the 21st century. Blackwell Publishing.

Week 10: 3 November 2021
The social construction of disability
Readings:
Anastasiou D., Kauffman J. (2013) ‘The Social Model of Disability: Dichotomy between Impairment and Disability,’ Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 38: 441-459.
Barton L. (1993) “The Struggle for Citizenship: the Case of Disabled People,” Disability, Handicap and Society, 8(3): 235-248.
Galvin R. (2005) ‘Researching the Disabled Identity: Contextualizing the Identity Transformations which Accompany the Onset of Impairment,’ Sociology of Health and Illness, 27 (3): 393-413.
Susman J. (1994) ‘Disability, Stigma and Deviance,’ Social Science and Medicine, 38 (1): 15-22.
Week 11: 10 November 2021
The social construction of health care as professionals
Readings:
Saks, M. (1998) ‘Professionalism and Health Care,’ Sociological Perspectives on health, Illness and Health Care, edited by D. Field and S. Taylor. Oxford: Blackwell Science. Ch.10, p.174-191.]
Light, D. (2000) ‘The Medical Profession and Organizational Change: from professional dominance to countervailing power’ in Handbook of Medical Sociology (5th ed.) edited by Chloe Bird, Peter Conrad & Allen Fremont. NJ: Prentice Hall. Ch.14, p.201-216

Week 12: 17 November 2021
McDonaldization of Health Care
Readings:
Dorsey E.R., Ritzer G. (2016). The McDonaldization of medicine. JAMA Neurology, 73(1).

Week 13: 24 November 2021
Project presentation (24/11) OR final paper consultation week (18/11 – 19/11, 22/11 – 26/11)

Assessment

  • Final paper: 70% (Students will be required to finish an individual paper about a health care topic using sociological perspective. Paper to be due on 2 December 2021 at 5 pm (Thursday). Late submission will attract a penalty of half-grade per day.)
  • Mid-term reflection paper or presentation: 30% (Students will be required to finish 3 essay questions. Questions will be distributed two weeks before the submission due date. Paper to be due on 28 October 2021 at 5 pm (Thursday). Late submission will attract a penalty of half-grade per day.)

All papers are required to go through plagiarism check. Please only submit your papers to the Turnitin system on the course Blackboard. NO email and hardcopy submission is allowed.

Assessment Guidelines
Nature of Assessment – Final paper (70%)

  1. Structure and organization (20%)
  2. Clarity and soundness of argument (20%)
  3. Collection and analysis of literature and other information (20%)
  4. Quality of writing (10%)
    Assessment Result Indicating
    Grade(s) Rubrics
    Excellent (E) A+ / A / A- – Demonstrate full and excellent understanding of relevant concepts and theories
  • skillfully use concepts and solve complex problems
  • Contain a critical and logical argument directly related to the study topic
  • Shows evidence of innovative and critical thinking in unfamiliar situations
  • Very clear expression and systemic organization of literature and collected information, and excellent critique on how the literature is related to the study topic
  • Able to express the synthesis or application of ideas in a logical and comprehensive manner
    Good (G) B+ / B / B- – Successfully address the study topic with learnt concepts and theories
  • Demonstrates good achievement of intended subject learning outcomes by being able to use appropriate concepts and solve problems.
  • Able to develop an argument with appropriate materials and references
  • Information and materials are well organized. Able to express the synthesis or application of ideas in a logical and comprehensive manner, but not analytical and critical enough
  • Shows the ability to analyse issues critically and make well-grounded judgements in familiar or standard situations
    Satisfactory (S) C+ / C / C- – Demonstrates satisfactory achievement of intended subject learning outcomes by being able to solve relatively simple problems.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the study topic
  • Shows some capacity for analysis and making judgements in a variety of familiar and standard situations, but unable to develop an argument in an organized and in-depth manner
  • Indicate a certain amount of reading and appropriate referencing, but unable to demonstrate a critical evaluation in the literature and how they relate to the study topic
  • Able to express the synthesis or application of ideas in a manner that is generally logical but fragmented.
    Pass (P) D+ / D – Demonstrates marginal achievement of intended subject learning outcomes by being able to solve relatively simple problems.
  • Demonstrates a less than basic level of understanding of the topic
  • Fail to address the study topic in an analytical manner
  • Poor expression and non-standard referencing
  • Can make basic comparisons, connections and judgments and express the ideas learnt in the subject, though there are frequent breakdowns in logic and clarity.
    Fail (F) F – Demonstrates inadequate achievement of intended subject learning outcomes through a lack of knowledge and/or understanding of the subject matter.
  • Evidence of analysis is often irrelevant or incomplete.
  • Absent

Nature of assessment – Mid-term reflection paper or Presentation (30%)
Criteria of assessment Performance Descriptors and rubrics
Structure and Organization
(10%) A+/A/A-: Very coherent arguments with good application of a conceptual framework / model, very well organized with a logical flow of argument
B+/B/B-: Main points with focused, well-organized flow of ideas
C+/C/C-: Main points are clear, but the flow of argument is confusing
D+/D: Minimal input, confusing and illogical flow
Logic of Argument
(10%) A+/A/A-: Exceptional demonstration of logical flow from one argument to another
B+/B/B-: Clear logical argument
C+/C/C-: Adequate demonstration of logical argument
D+/D: Argument is short of logical flow; connection between each argument is weak and unorganized.
Confidence in and quality of presentation
(10%) A+/A/A-: presenting original ideas smoothly and fluently with strong confidence, and able to respond sharply and accurately
B+/B/B-: knowing what is being presented and able to express ideas, responding with focus and accuracy
C+/C/C-: demonstration of direction of presentation and understand questions from the floor and answer fairly
D+/D: lack of confidence in presenting and unable to handle questions/views from others
Fail (F) – Demonstrates inadequate achievement of intended subject learning outcomes through a lack of knowledge and/or understanding of the subject matter.

  • Evidence of analysis is often irrelevant or incomplete.
  • Absent

Academic Honesty
Please be aware that plagiarism is considered as a form of stealing in academia, and thus it is a serious offense. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University places very high importance on honesty in academic work submitted by students, and adopts a policy of zero tolerance on academic dishonesty. Using someone else’s ideas or words without citing the source is plagiarism. This includes taking material from the Internet without citing the website, copying materials from books and journal articles without citing the sources. Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations.
Please make sure you are using proper citation and reference style in your final project (there are many reference styles, such as APA, Harvard, Vancouver, numbering, etc.), and be consistent with the reference and citation style throughout your paper. Students who are found to commit plagiarism will be penalized and punished.

Reference Readings
Essential reference reading:
Cockerham, W.C. (2013). Medical Sociology. Pearson Education.

  • Readings from this essential reference will be provided on Blackboard.
  • Other very important readings will also be provided on Blackboard.

If you have more time and want to deepen your knowledge in medical sociology, the followings are recommended:
Albrecht, G.L., Fitzpatrick, R. and Scrimshaw, S.C. (eds.) (1999) The Handbook of Social Studies in Health & Medicine. London: Sage.
Baer, H.A, Susser, I., and Merril, S. (1997). Medical Anthropology and the World System: A Critical Perspective. Bergin and Garvey.
Baum, F. (2002) The New Public Health, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Burton, R., Nettleton S., and Burrows, R. (eds.) (1995) The Sociology of Health Promotion. London: Routledge.
Chris, P. (1998) Reconstructing Old Age: New Agendas in Social Theory & Practice. London: Sage.
Dent, M., and Whitehead, S. (eds.) (2002) Managing Professional Identities: Knowledge, Performativity and the ‘New’ Professional. London: Routledge.
Drache, D., and Sullivan, T. (eds.) (1999) Health Reform: Public Success, Private Failure. London: Routledge.
Edberg, M. (2007). Essentials of Health Behavior: Social and Behavioral Theory in Public Health. Jones and Barlett Publishers.
Exworthy, M., and Halford, S. (eds.) (1999) Professionals and the New Managerialism in the Public Sector. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Fort, M., Mercer, M.A., and Gish, O. (eds.) (2004) Sickness and Wealth: The Corporate Assault on Health. Cambridge, Mass: South End Press.
Frey, R.S. (ed.) (2001) The Environment and Society Reader. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Gabe, J. (ed.) (1995) Medicine, Health and Risk. Oxford: Blackwell.
Guttman, N. (2000) Public Health Communication Interventions: Values and Ethical Dilemmas. London: Sage.
Harper, C.L. (2001) Environment and Society: Human Perspectives on Environmental Issues. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Higginbotham, N., Albrecht, G., and Connor, L. (2001) Health Social Science: A Transdisciplinary and Complexity Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Katz, S. (2005) Cultural Aging: Life Course, Lifestyle, and Senior Worlds. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press.
Kawachi, I., and Kennedy, B.P. (2006) The Health of Nations: Why Inequality is Harmful to Your Health. New York: The New Press.
Lemelle, A.L., Harrington, C., and LeBlanc, A.J. (eds.) (2000) Readings in the Sociology of AIDS. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Moynihan, R., and Cassels, A. (2005) Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning Us All into Patients. NY: Nation Books.
Petryna, A., Lakoff, A., and Kleinman, A. (eds.) (2006) Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics,Markets, Practices. Durham: Duke University Press.
Robbins, R.H. (2005) Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson Education.
Turner, B.S. (2004). The new medical sociology: social forms of health and illness. New York: W.W. Norton.
文思慧、梁美儀(合編)(2000)《專業交叉點》。香港﹕青文書屋。
呂宗學(譯)(1998)《馬克思主義看醫療保健》。台北:南方叢書出版社。第6、9 課。
佘雲楚 (2013)〈醫保計劃:沒有靈魂的公共醫療改革政策〉。羅金義、鄭宇碩(合編),《留給梁振英的棋局:通析曾蔭權時代》。香港:香港城市大學出版社。頁:141-162。
佘雲楚, 馮可立, 林昭寰, 陳和順, 鄒崇銘, 鍾劍華, 何寶英 (2017)《醫學霸權與香港醫療制度》。香港:中華書局
胡幼慧(2001)《新醫療社會學:批判與另類的視角》。台北:心理出版社。

Layout of your final paper

Below shows a typical format for a social sciences paper. You may consider having the sections below for your final paper, though it does not mean that you need to have all the following sections.

Introduction

  • What is the past literature talking about your topic? (Short literature review)
  • What is the literature gap? (For example, what is the difference of your paper and past studies? What knowledge will your paper add?)
  • Flow logically to tell the readers about the significance of your paper (Why is it important to study this topic?)

Discussion

  • This is logical diagnosing procedure on the society that involves your analysis.
  • Critically analyze the medical-social phenomenon from different social-levels (comprehensive analysis, from micro to macro) – is it related to our social norms, moral values, cultural values, ideology, etc.? How about the role of government, media, various social institutions? Are they related to our political and economic environment? How can these affect the more micro things such as people’s perceptions and behavior?
  • Compare with the past literature – are these past studies similar to or different from yours? Do you have any different findings from the past literature?
  • Analyze why the findings of the past literature are similar to and/or different from yours? Is it because of the different social and cultural value systems, for example?

** Results and discussion can be combined if your paper does not involve any fieldwork data collection procedure

Conclusion

  • Wrap-up, summary of your key points
  • Brief suggestion can be mentioned

References

  • There are many reference styles, eg. APA, Harvard, Vancouver, numbering, etc. – you can choose the reference style freely, but please be consistent with your reference style.
  • Using inconsistent reference style is considered as unacceptable in academic social sciences paper, and mark reduction will be resulted.

There is NO WORD LIMIT for the final paper. However, please be concise in your writing. Your marks for the final paper are not judged by how many words you wrote, but by how relevant, how logical, and how organized your points and argument are. Your marks can still be low if your points are irrelevant and illogical without evidence even though you may have written 100 pages.

ORGANIZATION of your paper is very important!
Social sciences papers emphasize much in the organization and logical flow. It does not mean that you can hit high marks if you can give a lot of points, but organization of your paper and presenting your ideas and argument with a logical flow is very important. If your paper is organized in a messy manner, then even though you can give a lot of points, your marks can be low.
How can you make your paper in a clearly organized manner?

  • Try to break down a long paper with different sections.
  • Please use headings and sub-headings often.
  • Have a topic sentence in each paragraph can help.

Most students’ reports contain large chunks of materials that are often irrelevant either because the student has not fully understood the question or because they get carried away by marginal or irrelevant arguments and materials. Your report will be assessed by its relevance rather than by its length, so it is important to stay focused.

Academic Honesty

Please be aware that plagiarism is considered as a form of stealing in academia, and thus it is a serious offense. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University places very high importance on honesty in academic work submitted by students, and adopts a policy of zero tolerance on academic dishonesty. Using someone else’s ideas or words without citing the source is plagiarism. This includes taking material from the Internet without citing the website, copying materials from books and journal articles without citing the sources. Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations.

Please make sure you are using proper citation and reference style in your final group project (there are many reference styles, such as APA, Harvard, Vancouver, numbering, etc.), and be consistent with the reference and citation style throughout your paper. Students who are found to commit plagiarism will be penalized and punished.

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