Health and Medicine

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Health, illness, and medicine are main areas of study for many sociologists. We look at how society and health are connected We explore how social factors influence health, illness, mental health, and how health and medicine shape social relations as well. Sociology of medicine often focuses on the relationship between patients and practitioners, health care delivery, access, and inequalities in health and health care at a local and global level.

UVic Resources

Health, Aging, & Society

Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health

Social Dimensions of Health Program

UVic Health Researchers

Dr. Katelin Albert

Albert, Katelin. (2019). Beyond the responsibility binary: analysing maternal responsibility in the human papillomavirus vaccination decision. Sociology of health & illness 41(6) (2019): 1088-1103.

Albert, Katelin E. (2014). Erasing the social from social science: The intellectual costs of boundary-work and the Canadian institute of health research. Canadian Journal of Sociology 39(3) 393-420.

Dr. Cecilia Benoit

Benoit, Cecilia, S. Mikael Jansson, Michaela Smith, and Jackson Flagg. (2018). Prostitution stigma and its effect on the working conditions, personal lives, and health of sex workers. The Journal of Sex Research 55(4-5): 457-471.

Smith, M., Benoit, C. (2021). “How Social Inequities in Maternity Care Impact Marginalized Groups.” Glob. libr. women’s med., ISSN: 1756-2228; DOI 10.3843/GLOWM.415053

Dr. Aaron Devor

Lau, Francis, Marcy Antonio, Kelly Davison, Roz Queen, and Aaron Devor. (2020). A rapid review of gender, sex, and sexual orientation documentation in electronic health records. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 27(11): 1774-1783.

Goldman, Mindy, Terrie Butler‐Foster, Don Lapierre, Sheila F. O’Brien, and Aaron Devor. (2020). Trans people and blood donation. Transfusion 60(5):1084-1092.

Dr. Karen Kobayashi

Kobayashi, Karen, and Steven Prus. (2012). Examining the gender, ethnicity, and age dimensions of the healthy immigrant effect: Factors in the development of equitable health policy. International Journal for Equity in Health 11(1):1-6.

Cloutier-Fisher, Denise, Karen Kobayashi, and André Smith. (2011). The subjective dimension of social isolation: A qualitative investigation of older adults’ experiences in small social support networks. Journal of Aging Studies 25(4):407-414.

Dr. Margaret Penning

Penning, Margaret J., and Zheng Wu. (2016). Caregiver stress and mental health: Impact of caregiving relationship and gender. The Gerontologist 56(6):1102-1113.

Lee, Yeonjung, Alex Bierman, and Margaret Penning. (2020) Psychological Well-Being Among Informal Caregivers in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging: Why the Location of Care Matters. The Journals of Gerontology, 75(10): 2207-2218.

Haq, Kazi Sabrina, and Margaret J. Penning. (2020). Social determinants of racial disparities in cognitive functioning in later life in Canada. Journal of Aging and Health 32(7-8):817-829.

Dr. André Smith

Chappell, Neena L., Carren Dujela, and André Smith. (2015). Caregiver well-being: Intersections of relationship and gender. Research on Aging 37(6):623-645.

O’Connor, Deborah, Alison Phinney, Andre Smith, Jeff Small, Barbara Purves, Joann Perry, Elisabeth Drance, Martha Donnelly, Habib Chaudhury, and Lynn Beattie. (2007). Personhood in dementia care: Developing a research agenda for broadening the vision. Dementia 6(1):121-142.


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Sociology Courses at UVic

If you would like to explore health and medicine in more depth, the Department offers a number of courses you might be interested in:

SOCI100A – Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Social Life
SOCI100B – Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Contemporary Society
SOCI204 – Self, Identity and Society
SOCI285 – Health over the Life Course
SOCI327 – International Perspectives on Inequities in Health and Health Care
SOCI345 – Sociology of Mental Health
SOCI385 – Sociology of Aging
SOCI389 – Death and Dying
SOCI432 – Issues in Health and Aging