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Social Science
SOSC 1801
Jon Johnson

Course Description Health, illness and healing are concepts considered so familiar that they are widely taken for granted among the general populace. Nevertheless, concepts of health, illness and healing have been at the centre of the most politically and ideologically charged debates with which societies have grappled. While these debates largely take place beyond the awareness of the general public, their outcomes have direct implications for our health. In the occasional instances when the political and ideological nature of health, illness and healing become visible, they are labeled by media as ‘health controversies’. Therefore, health controversies provide an interesting and effective way to study the political, economic, socio-cultural and historical aspects of health, illness and healing. Through an examination of some of the major historic and current health controversies in North America and globally, this course examines issues and themes that are foundational to a critical, interdisciplinary study of health and society. The course will lead students to appreciate the many factors that influence the health and illness in society, as well as the politically and ideologically charged nature of healing. Course Organization The course is composed of weekly two-hour lectures and one-hour tutorials. The lectures will provide students with an overview of the main course themes, concepts and case studies. The assigned course readings extend and elaborate on specific themes and concepts outlined in the lectures. Materials covered in lecture will not be identical to those covered in the readings, so it is important to both attend lectures AND read assigned course materials. Tutorials consist of smaller groups of students and are designed to allow for elaboration, discussion and synthesis of course lectures, readings and videos as well as detailed discussion of assignment expectations and development of critical skills. Students will be expected to discuss course readings during tutorials, so it is necessary to finish weekly readings before tutorial. The participation grade for this course will be based largely on students’ attendance and performance during tutorials. It is important to listen and take notes during lectures, in-class videos and tutorials as students will be required to demonstrate knowledge of course themes, readings, videos and case studies in tests and written assignments. The assignments for this course are designed to teach students the fundamental skills necessary to complete a social science research paper at the post-secondary level. Assignments will target topic formulation, time management, and critical research and evaluation and writing skills. Assignments will build on each other sequentially, culminating in the completion of a social science research paper. Learning Objectives Students will examine different health-related controversies in order to understand their implications for health, illness and healing. By the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate: 1. How health controversies often result from cultural, political and economic struggles among different social groups and how scientific knowledge is constructed, used and manipulated in these struggles. 2. How political, economic, historical and socio-cultural factors influence health, illness and healing and how illness is patterned in society according various forms of inequality, marginalization and power differences. 3. Proficiency in a broad set of skills and strategies related to effectively planning, researching and writing a social science research essay which engages course topics and perspectives. Required Course Texts 1. SOSC 1801 6.0 Course Kit Student Evaluation Assignments Weight Length Due Date Essay topic meeting Not graded 1 page Sep. 18 th– Oct. 29th Research evaluation 15% 5.5 pages Nov. 12 th Essay – first draft 15% 5 pages Jan. 21st Essay – final draft 20% 9 pages Mar. 11 th Note: Detailed assignment instructions will also be handed out in lecture on the dates indicated in the course schedule. Exams and Participation Weight Due Date Midterm Test – short and long answer 15% Dec. 3 r, 2012 Final Test – short and long answer 15% Apr. 1 st, 2013 Participation 20% Ongoing Grading The following is York University’s grading scale for all course work: A+ (90-100) – exceptional A (80-89) – excellent B+ (75-79) – very good B (70-74) – good C+ (65-69) – competent C (60-64) – fairly competent D+ (55-59) – passing D (50-54) – barely passing E (40-49) – marginally failing F (0-39) – failing If a student feels that their grade is not a fair assessment of their work, they are encouraged to meet with their teaching assistant about their concerns. Prior to that meeting (which should occur about one week after you received the grade and no later than 2 weeks after receiving the grade), the student must review assignment instructions, the assignment itself, as well as their TA’s comments (either written on your paper or stated in person) and then fill out a grade appeal form, available on the ‘Handouts’ page of the course website. If the student can provide a convincing rationale for a higher grade, their teaching assistant may change the grade accordingly. Meeting about a grade does not guarantee a higher grade – all grade changes must be justified. If the student remains unsatisfied with their grade after their meeting with their TA, the student may schedule a meeting with the professor. The student must bring their grade appeal form bearing the signature of their TA to the meeting with the professor. Submitting Assignments and Late Penalties Printed AND digital copies of all assignments are due in lecture on the date specified in the lecture schedule, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Printed assignments are to be submitted directly to your teaching assistant. Digital copies must be emailed to [email protected] with the assignment title and subject line formatted as follows: Tutorial #_student’s last name_student’s first name_assignment # (ie: 8_Johnson_Jon_2). It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their teaching assistant receives their assignments. Late assignments will receive a penalty of 2% per day of lateness. No assignment will be accepted for grading if it is over three weeks (21 days) late. Whether the assignment is submitted in person or via proxy, it is always the student’s responsibility to ensure that their assignment has been received. Note: Always keep an electronic copy and a printed hard-copy of all assignments. Furthermore, keep all research notes and draft-work related to graded assignments. This ensures that, in the event of a computer crash or misplaced assignment, that you can still re-submit the assignment if necessary. Feedback on Draft Assignments Teaching assistants can (as time permits) quickly review a sample of your work and provide feedback prior to the student submitting the assignment for grading. However the following conditions apply: 1. Sa
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