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Recommended Social Theory Courses

These courses are highly recommended to students enrolled in the Essentials of Qualitative Research (EQR) Course Series because of the importance of social theory to qualitative health methodologies. These courses are not formally part of the EQR series (i.e., not subject to priority enrolment for CQ contributing member students and not eligible for the Certificate in Qualitative Health Research Methodology). Students should inquire of the course instructors regarding enrolment. 

CHL5101 - Social Theory and Health

This course is an introduction to key theoretical contributions of sociology to accounts of health and illness. Emphasis will be on a critical analysis of competing discourses on health, including those based on structural functionalism, interpretive perspectives, political economy, social constructionism, feminist perspectives, Foucauldian perspectives, Pierre Bourdieu’s work, sociology of the body and sociology of emotions. The focus of discussion will be core concepts of the sociology of health arising from theoretical interpretations of what it means to be healthy or ill in western industrialized nations. Concepts include, but are not limited to, the sick role, labelling, lay health beliefs, the experience of illness, medical dominance, the medical industrial complex, social causation of disease, medical social control, medicalization, surveillance medicine, risk, discipline and the body, the social construction of medical knowledge, habitus, capital, and body projects. The course, taught by Dr. Peggy McDonough, is offered through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. 

CHL5128 - Intersectionality, Inequity and Public Health

Intersectionality researchers emphasize the need to consider complex interactions between structures of power and oppression and interconnected aspects of individual and group identity and social location. In this course students will be introduced to some of the historical and theoretical underpinnings of intersectionality scholarship. Conceptual and methodological questions, framings, and applications of intersectionality research will be critically interrogated. We will begin by discussing literature on why the theory and practice of intersectionality matter to public health research and policy. Next, we will engage in a focused review of foundational work by Kimberle Crenshaw, Patricia Hill Collins, and bell hooks. We will next discuss current conceptual and methodological debates and challenges in this interdisciplinary field. The remainder of the course will focus on the use of intersectionality in health scholarship including the analysis of health policy and applications of intersectionality in the study of sexualities and HIV/AIDS research across diverse axes of inequity. Our final readings will consider recent travels and critiques of intersectionality. This course, taught by Dr. Daniel Grace, is offered through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Course outline

NUR1085H - Topics in Critical Perspectives in Health and Health Care

This PhD-level course will focus on critical-social theories which have been applied to the health sciences in order to policitize and theorize health issues that traditionally have been taken for granted as unproblematic, such as caregiving, prevention, and professional practice. The course will focus on critical, neo-marxist, feminist, post-colonial, and post-structuralist frameworks. Students will be required to read classic texts and applied studies which utilized such approaches to discuss the key tenets of each theoretical framework. Course assignments will consist of explorations of the links between a particular theory and the student’s research topic. This course is offered through the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. Course Outline