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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : School of Health in Social Science

Undergraduate Course: Health, bodies and embodiment (SHSS10009)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course supports students to understand and engage critically with social scientific approaches to human bodies and embodiment, and to appreciate the relevance of these to studying health. It is primarily designed for students undertaking the MA Health, Science and Society but takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing widely from sociology, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, and is open to students in Years 3 and 4 across the University. The course will be of particular interest to students undertaking degrees in Social and Political Sciences.
Course description Experiences and understandings of health, illness, wellness, disease and death are irrevocably tied to human bodies; yet the body has been problematized considerably by social scientific theorization and research. This course shows how social scientific work on bodies and embodiment (how people live in/with/as their bodies) offers vital resources through which to critically consider the ways in which (embodied) health is shaped by societal structures, meanings and practices. Students are introduced to a range of social scientific perspectives on bodies and embodiment, and will learn to critically apply these to understanding human health, including a consideration of health experience, health care and health research.

Topics covered are likely to include: symbolic, constructed and lived bodies in health and illness; the construction of race, ethnicity, sex and gender in healthcare practice and research; how embodied metaphors shape understandings of human health and ill-health, normality and abnormality.

The course uses blended learning incorporating weekly 2 hour seminars and online activities. Seminars combine formal lectures with student led activity. Full participation in online and offline class activity is essential. Students are supported to develop a critical understanding of social scientific theories of bodies and embodiment, and to apply these in a sustained study of a particular health condition.

Students will evidence and demonstrate achievement of Learning Outcomes via engagement in online/offline class activity, Formative and Summative assessments.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Contemporary Issues in Social Anthropology (SCAN10080)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents should not take this course if they have already taken or plan to take: Contemporary Issues in Social Anthropology (SCAN10080)
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment

1. 2 x 500 word blogs submitted in week 8. Blogs will be extended versions of blogs submitted for formative feedback. (30%)

2. 3000 word essay submitted in semester 2 (May) 70%
Feedback Formative Assessment and Feedback

1. 4 x 250 word blogs submitted by Week 6. Individual feedback provided on each submitted blog by Week 7.

2. 1 x 250 word blog submitted by Week 9. Individual feedback within 2 weeks.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Awareness of a range of social scientific perspectives on human bodies and embodiment
  2. Critical understanding of social scientific theories relating to human bodies and embodiment
  3. Ability to apply social scientific theories of embodiment to a detailed analysis of at least one health condition
  4. Understanding of the range of ways in which perspectives on embodiment and bodies shapes medical research and practice
  5. Assess and critically employ a range of research evidence to support arguments relating to health, bodies and embodiment
Reading List
Indicative reading
Carel, Havi (2016) Phenomenology of Illness. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Grosz, E. (1994). Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Bloomington, IN, Indiana University Press.
Lupton, D. (2012). Medicine as Culture: Third Edition. London, Sage.
Martin, E. (2001). The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction. Boston, Beacon Press.
Mol, A. (2003). The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice. Durham, Duke University Press.
Pitts-Taylor, V. (2016). The Brain's Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics, Duke University Press.
Turner, B. S. (1996). The Body and Society. London, Sage.
Williams, S. and G. Bendelow (1998). The Lived Body: Sociological Themes, Embodied Issues. London, Routledge.
Wilson, E. A. (2015). Gut Feminism. Durham, Duke University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will work on, develop and evidence the following (Level 10 SCQF):
Ability to critically analyse complex health problems, drawing on relevant theory.
Demonstrate some originality and creativity in applying theory
Critically review and consolidate knowledge about social scientific theories of bodies/embodiment
Present formally and informally, information about specialist topics
Use a range of ICT applications to support assessments and in-class presentations
Exercise autonomy and initiative in course activities and assessment
Course organiserDr Amy Chandler
Tel: (0131 6)50 3881
Course secretaryMiss Morven Sutherland
Tel: (0131 6)51 3972
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