Courses Details

HBEHED823: Structural Influences on Health and Social Behavior

  • Graduate level
  • Residential
  • Fall term(s) for residential students;
  • 3 credit hour(s) for residential students;
  • Instructor(s): Arline T Geronimus (Residential);
  • Prerequisites: permission of instructor
  • Description: This doctoral seminar will draw on the public health and biomedical literature and also on constructs and literature from sociology, psychology, history, anthropology and demography to demonstrate how multi-disiciplinary theories and findings can be integrated to suggest a social-structural context for current public health problems. This structural understanding is designed to help HBHE doctoral students to reach candidacy with the ability to recognize the social patterning of health problems, and to discuss analytically the social structural influences, opportunities, and constraints affecting individual and social behavior, and, thereby, to develop research hypotheses and interventions or policies that take these into account. The course stresses the development of critical thinking skills, helps students recognize the social patterning of health problems, the historical influences on current health inequalities, and the ways that individual health knowledge and behavior can be reflexive, socially situated, and embedded within larger social, cultural, and historical contexts. The course also considers ways that structural forces may work through material, social psychological, and ultimately biological mechanisms to exert an impact on morbidity and mortality.
  • Learning Objectives: By the end of the term, students should be able to : (1) explain what a structural perspective is and how a structural analysis differs from simply entering sociodemographic or economic variables into statistical models; (2) understand the importance of history, culture, pervasive ideology, social stratification, and institutionalization to current public health problems and proposed solutions; (3) be attuned to the social patterning of public health problems and their implications; (4) understand how structural dimensions of public health problems influence individual and social behavior;
Arline T Geronimus
Concentration Competencies that HBEHED823 Allows Assessment On
Department Program Degree Competency Specific course(s) that allow assessment
HBHE PhD Interpret results from empirical analyses within the context of conceptual frameworks relevant for health promotion, and describe their public health relevance HBEHED823, preliminary exam