Health & Societies Major Program Goals
Health & Societies (HSOC) is an interdisciplinary liberal arts major examining health practices, knowledge and systems in social context. aims to equip students with the sophisticated critical faculties and advanced multidisciplinary skills that will prepare them for careers in public health and health services, but will also serve them well in non-health-related careers and will enhance their understanding of the world as citizens. The specific skills that characterize research in biomedicine, epidemiology, health policy and law, health economics, environmental studies, bioethics, and related fields are essential components of the Health and Societies major. Even more fundamental is the ability to think critically about science and its place in society.
The program is built on the foundation of three core disciplines: anthropology, history, and sociology. Methods and courses from other disciplines and fields—including epidemiology, political science, business/economics, law, environmental studies, and bioethics—supplement the core disciplines and provide majors with the variety of skills necessary to grasp the forces that have shaped our contemporary health landscapes.
The Health and Societies graduate is a "multilingual" scholar and citizen, fluent in the methods and perspectives of several social science disciplines. S/he is theoretically informed but practically minded, with a global outlook and local experience. S/he understands how things have come to be the way they are today, and is capable of intervening to effect needed change.
GOALS of the HSOC Major
Upon successful completion of the
Health and Societies major, students should be able to:
- read scientific and medical texts critically, and assess their social, cultural, and political origins and ramifications;
- identify and define key social determinants of health in a variety of historical and contemporary contexts;
- analyze the interplay of factors that have resulted in particular health outcomes and policies;
- integrate methods from history, sociology, anthropology, and other disciplines in empirical assessments of communities, populations, and policy interventions on multiple levels;
- pursue in-depth research projects using published sources, archival material, and ethnographic and experimental data;
- analyze data using both quantitative and qualitative methods; and
- participate in the design of effective multipronged strategies to address health challenges in local, national, and international contexts.