Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Rosalie Aroni


This unit will explore how individual and population experiences of health are shaped by culture and society. The unit draws on key sociological and anthropological theories and concepts to reveal explanations for health in respect of larger socio-cultural realities and political processes. Students will be encouraged to foster skills in critical deconstruction of Western representations of culture to arrive at an appreciation of various 'ways of knowing', including Indigenous scholarship. There will be a focus on global health and in particular, Indigenous people, place, culture and health.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Apply key principles of sociological and anthropological thought to the lived experience of individuals and populations
  2. Apply the themes associated with the sociological imagination to examine the social production, construction and organisation of health locally and globally
  3. Apply sociological theories as analytical tools to critically examine cultural, social, political and economic factors influencing health
  4. Critically examine and evaluate aspects of culture and society with which they are familiar (as well as historical representations) in order to extend their understanding of the socio-cultural structures, institutions and processes relevant to health globally.


Formative assessment:
Weekly quiz (Weeks 2 to 11)

Summative assessment:
Individual journal (1,200 words) (15%)
Individual analysis of media coverage of a health issue (1,500 words) (30%)
Group presentation of a contentious health issue (15 minutes) (15%)
Individual essay (2,000 words) (40%)

Hurdle: 80% attendance at tutorials.

Workload requirements

3 hours contact time per week (1 hour lecture 2 hour tutorial / workshop) plus 9 hours of private study.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


One of (HSC1081, HSC1082, HSC1112, PHH1081, PHH1112).