HUMN 2027 Health, Illness and Biomedicine: A Sociological Perspective

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101610

Coordinator Irena Veljanova Opens in new window

Description The Sociology of Medicine and Health Care starts from the basic premise that illness and health are social as well as biological processes. Traditional areas of the discipline are explored and in each case their applicability to public health is stressed. At the same time, an important goal is to suggest how that field is being redefined and reinvigorated by social and cultural studies of science and technology. The theoretical perspectives and substantive issues raised and developed to study them are critically examined. The provision and organisation of health care are examined with emphasis on the social and political context in which public health is pursued and ill health treated within Australia.

School Social Sciences

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYA 1357 Sociology of Medicine and Health Care

Restrictions Successful completion of 40 credit points.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Apply sociological theories and concepts to the specific area of social activity, medicine and health care;
  2. Critically examine the dominant ideologies within the health industry, e.g., the curative model of a health care, the use of technologies in health care, and the medicalisation of society;
  3. Identify and critically examine the idea of health and illness, experiences of health & illness and inequalities in those experiences ;
  4. Critically examine the role of the health professions, eg medicine, nursing, in social life and their role in social control and the construction of deviance;
  5. Critically evaluate health related media content through a sociological lens.

Subject Content

1. What is the social model of health and how does it differ from the biomedical model? What is illness?
2. How do the main sociological perspectives differ in their approach to studying health and illness.
3. Social organisation of health care and the political economy of health. Aging and health: Towards a sociology of ageing and dying
4. Social determinants of health (Issues of inequalities and equity in access)
5. Multicultural Health Applied
6. Medicalisation of Deviance
7. The new health paradigm and the autonomous health consumer (Alternative and complementary health care included).
8. The role of technology in modern health care.
9. Media and Health
10. Constructing medical objects and subjects (Body, Medicine and Society)
11. Transhuman Health Paradigm
12. Health Discrimination


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Online Journal 1,000 words 25 N Individual
Tutorial Presentation (combined online and in-class activity) 500 words 30 N Individual
Written assignment in essay format 1500 words 45 N Individual

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 1

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Irena Veljanova Opens in new window

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Subject Contact Irena Veljanova Opens in new window

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2022 Trimester 1

Sydney City


Subject Contact Irena Veljanova Opens in new window

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