Society, Culture and Public Health

The course offers a theoretical framework for critical reflections of issues related to social and cultural aspects of health, illness, health care and preventive medicine.


The main topics are:

- Introduction to the study of public health, what it contains, how it is structured, and what it aims at.

- What creates health and illness? About medical and social determinants of health, with a focus on social determinants of health and how the health of the population is connected to social and political conditions in a society.

- Theories, perspectives and dilemmas in preventive medicine and health promotion.

- Social and geographical inequalities in health, what they look like, why they emerge, and how they can be reduced.

- Different perspectives on health and illness. The relation between biomedical, cultural and subjective perspectives.

- Cultural perspectives on health and illness, related to three dimensions: cross-cultural differences, historical differences and differences between lay and professional perceptions.

- Modern western conceptions of health and illness and medicalisation, expressions, driving forces and implications.

- Cultural understandings of health professionals, their knowledge, practice and professional roles.

- Health care and preventive medicine as systems in various societies and their role in the welfare state.

Course details

Academic level(s)Master
CountryNorway
Language of instruction
InstitutionUiT The Arctic University of Norway
Begin date-
End date-
Registration deadline-
ECTS credits10.0
Field schoolNo
Fields of studyHealth (broad programmes)
Teaching placeTromsø
Tagshealthinter-culturalhealth carepreventive medicinepublic health
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