Undergraduate Module Descriptor
SOC3088: Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society: Part 2: Bodies in Society
This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.
|Term(s) and duration|
This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)
Dr Ginny Russell (Convenor)
|Available via distance learning|
This module will introduce you to contemporary sociological and anthropological ways of understanding how bodies are made, manipulated, shaped, reproduced, represented and experienced. You will explore how contemporary Western society takes for granted ‘the body’ and compare to cross cultural accounts of how bodies are made meaningful. This will lead you to consider how ‘culture’ shapes the body, and raise questions such as: How do new biomedical technologies change the ways in which people think about bodies? What connections can be drawn from these contemporary concerns with body size and health? As Part 2 of ‘Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society’, the module will continue themes introduced in Part 1 such as ‘medicalisation', the ’ new public health’ and explaining health inequalities, but we will expand beyond the lens of health and illness. You will have the opportunity to explore specific topics relating to bodies and embodiment in contemporary society – for example, tattooing, body size, contraception, sport, fashion and identity - and in so doing will cultivate skills in research, writing and presentation of ideas. This module is recommended for students from sociology, anthropology, or the Flexible honours degree. There are no prerequisites, but, as there is quite a bit of interdisciplinarity in the field, some basic knowledge of sociology and anthropology is an advantage for undertaking this module.