What is Health and Society?
Why is there such social and geographic variability in health patterns? How do we define "health" in any given cultural and historical context? What are the consequences of ill-health for individuals and societies? And how can we go about promoting health in an ethically and fiscally responsible manner?
These are the types of questions students grapple with in Health and Society. To answer them, students need to reach across disciplinary boundaries. This is why Health and Society faculty span multiple departments within the College of Liberal Arts—from Classics and Religious Studies to Sociology and Psychology—and why we have reached across College boundaries, including faculty members from the Colleges of Natural Sciences, Education, Communications and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Our course listings are even more diverse. Lots of faculty members in lots of academic disciplines at UT focus on health in their research, teaching, or both. Health and Society is the only undergraduate major that takes full advantage of this wealth of expertise.
Students in Health and Society should have three key objectives. They should learn how to:
- Develop an understanding of health patterns, health behavior, medical care, and health policy in a variety of historical and contemporary contexts;
- Integrate methods from across the social sciences and humanities in empirical assessments of health patterns and behavior; and,
- Apply those concepts through advanced seminar coursework, leading to topical specializations in one of the following: Health and Behavior, Cultural Aspects of Health, Health Care and the Economy, and Population Health.
More generally, graduates of the program will be familiar with methods and perspectives of several social science and humanities disciplines, and will be able to think critically about health and science in society, locally and globally.