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Lecture One: Introduction

Teaching staff:
Please check your campus unit outline
Unit Outline:
Learning outcomes

Group introduction and activity

Assessment tasks

Assessment Task

Word length Weight
(or equiv)

Teamwork: Student Seminar

20‐25 mins 20%

Written Exam

2,000 words 40%

Reflective Writing Assignment

1,750 words 40%



Topics for Today
• A sociological approach and the sociological imagination
• Biomedical model
• Globalisation and health

After this session you will be able to.....
 Explain basic features of a sociological approach to health and illness  Describe the key characteristics of the biomedical model
 Define some of the key concepts that inform a sociological approach to health and illness
 Consider the value of a sociological approach to health and illness for health workers.

Let’s start with some questions … o Why do people stop taking antibiotics before they have finished the packet? o Why do people smoke even when they know its unhealthy? o Why are women more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men? o Why are poor people sicker than rich people? o Why do people seek complementary and alternative remedies rather than going to the doctor? o Why do migrants to Australia have more accidents at work? o Why is there a 15‐20 year life expectancy gap between
Indigenous and non‐Indigenous Australians?



What is sociology?
“The study of society”
Links between individual lives & social forces
Systematic patterns in groups of people
– Behaviour
– Meanings
– Beliefs

How do aspects of social life influence others?
How does the distribution of power affect social life?

Sociology offers:
A ‘second opinion’ about common sense ideas

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