UBC’s Sociology of Health research stream focuses on social factors associated with health and wellbeing. It conceives of physical and mental health as an attribute of societies, communities, smaller groups like families, and individuals. It addresses issues such as the social determinants of health, the intersection of health and environment, health over the life course, public health and public policy, power and health, and the ways in which organizations shape health.
Read the works of our researchers:
- Abrutyn, Seth and Anna S. Mueller. 2014. "Are Suicidal Behaviors Contagious? Using Longitudinal Data to Examine Suicide Suggestion." American Sociological Review 79(2):211-27.
- Mueller, Anna S. and Seth Abrutyn. 2016. "Adolescents under Pressure: A New Durkheimian Framework for Understanding Adolescent Suicide in a Cohesive Community." American Sociological Review 81(5):877-99.
- Abrutyn, Seth, Anna S. Mueller and Melissa Osborne. 2019. "Rekeying Cultural Scripts for Youth Suicide: How Social Networks Facilitate Suicide Diffusion and Suicide Clusters Following Exposure to Suicide." Society and Mental Health 10(2):112-35
- Yellow Horse, Aggie J, Francesco Acciai, and Kimberly R Huyser. 2022. “Investigating the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives–Relevant Causes of Death as the Major Source of the Life Expectancy Gap for the American Indian and Alaska Native Population." 2010–2019.” Epidemiology.
- Huyser, Kimberly R.*, and Sofia Locklear*. 2021. “Reversing Statistical Erasure of Indigenous Peoples: The Social Construction of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the US using National Datasets.” Chapter in Walter, M., Kukutai, T., Gonzales, A.A., & Henry, R. (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology. Oxford University Press: New York.
- Huyser, Kimberly R., Aggie J. Yellow Horse, Alena A. Kuhlemeier, and Michelle R. Huyser. 2021. “COVID-19 Pandemic and Indigenous Representation in Public Health Data.” American Journal of Public Health. 111(S3):S208-S214.
- Johnson, P. J. (2010). The Roles of NASA, U.S. Astronauts and Their Families in Long-Duration Missions. Acta Astronautica, 67, 561-571.
- Stoll, K. & Johnson, P. J. (2007). Determinants of the psychosocial adjustment of Southern Sudanese Men. Journal of Refugee Studies, 20 (4), 621-640.
- Johnson, P. (1996.) Coping with stress through microcosms of home and family among arctic whalers. The History of the Family 1(1): 41-62.
- Torrejón, María-José & Martin-Matthews, Anne (2022). “A qualitative approach to bridging and bonding social capital: Experiences of a cohort of Chilean older people”, Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 296, March, 114710.
- Aaltonen, M., Martin-Matthews, A., Puïkki, J., Eskola, P., Jolanki, O (2021)., "Experiences of people with memory disorders and their spouse carers on influencing formal care: ‘They ask my wife questions that they should ask me’.”Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice.
- Martin-Matthews, Anne, Tong, Catherine, Rosenthal, Carolyn J. & McDonald, P. Lynn (2013), “Ethnocultural diversity in the experience of widowhood in later life: Chinese widows in Canada.” Journal of Aging Studies, 27(4): 507-518.
- Douds, Kiara Wyndham and Ethan J. Raker. 2021. “The Geography of Ethnoracial Birth Weight Inequalities in the United States.” SSM – Population Health 15.
- Raker, Ethan J., Meghan Zacher, & Sarah R. Lowe. 2020. “Lessons from Hurricane Katrina for predicting the indirect health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117(23) 12595-12597.
- Raker, Ethan J., Sarah Lowe, Mariana Arcaya, Sydney Johnson, Jean Rhodes, & Mary C. Waters. 2019. “Twelve years later: the long-term mental health consequences of Hurricane Katrina.” Social Science & Medicine 242: 1-10.
- Richardson, L., Long, C., DeBeck, K., Nguyen, P., Milloy, M-J., Wood, E., Kerr, T. (2015) Socioeconomic marginalisation in the structural production of vulnerability to violence among people who use illicit drugs. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 69(7), 686-692.
- Richardson, L., Laing, A., Choi, J., Nosova, K., Milloy, M-J., Marshall, B., Singer, J., Wood, E., Kerr, T. (2021) Effect of alternative income assistance schedules on drug use and drug-related harm: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Public Health. 6: e324-34.
- Jaffe, K., Korthuis, P.T., Richardson, L. (2021) Experimental (re)structuring: Shifting place, time, and social ties among medical research participants. Qualitative Health Research. 31(8): 1504-1517.
- Barbara Okun, and Guy Stecklov. 2021. “The Impact of Grandparental Death on the Fertility of Adult Children,” Demography. 58(3), 847-870.
- Ashira Menashe-Oron and Guy Stecklov. 2018. “Urban-Rural Disparities in Adult Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Population and Development Review 44(1), 7-35
- Alex Weinreb and Guy Stecklov. 2009. " Social inequality and HIV-testing: Comparing home- and clinic-based testing in rural Malawi," Demographic Research, 21(21), pages 627-646.
- Veenstra, Gerry & Adam Vanzella-Yang. 2021. Intergenerational social mobility and self-rated health in Canada. SSM – Population Health 15, 100890 (pp. 1-6).
- Burnett, Patrick John & Gerry Veenstra. 2017. Margins of freedom: A field-theoretic approach to class-based health practices. Sociology of Health & Illness 39, 7, 1050-1067.
- Veenstra, Gerry & Patrick John Burnett. 2014. A relational approach to health practices: Towards transcending the agency-structure divide. Sociology of Health & Illness 36, 2, 187-198.
- Fu, Qiang, Tian-yi Zhou, Xin Guo. 2021. “Modified Poisson Regression Analysis of Grouped and Right-censored Counts.” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A 184(4): 1347-1367.
- Gu, Jiaxin, Xin Guo, Gerry Veenstra, Yushu Zhu, and Qiang Fu. 2021. “Adolescent Marijuana Use in the United States and Structural Breaks: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis, 1991 to 2018.” American Journal of Epidemiology 190(6): 1056-1063.
- Fu, Qiang. 2018. “Bringing Urban Governance Back In: Neighborhood Conflicts and Depression.” Social Science & Medicine 196: 1-9.
We offer the following courses in the Sociology of Health:
- SOCI 479 Social Determinants of Health
- SOCI 473: Sociology of Mental Illness
- SOCI 584A: Health, Illness & Society
- SOCI 508: Advanced Methods Seminar
We offer the following courses in the Sociology of Health:
- SOCI 290: Global Pandemics
- SOCI 344: Sociology of Aging
- SOCI 387: Drugs and Society
- SOCI 384: Sociology of Health and Illness
- SOCI 495F Sociology and Health
- SOCI 495x: Sociology of Indigenous Health
- SOCI 495x: The Demography of Disasters
- SOCI 599E 201: Aging and Society
Sociology of Health Research Events
Sociology of Health Research News
Prof. Lindsey Richardson discusses drug decriminalization in BC on The Big Story podcast
Prof. Lindsey Richardson spoke to The Tyee about the potential impacts of changing welfare payment schedules
Discover how Dr. Katherine Lyon applies an experiential learning activity in her Global Pandemics course
About this research area:
Health sociology in the department involves the examination of health and illness at the intersections of social structures and institutions, governments and policies, healthcare systems and personal experiences.
This prominent area of health sociology, with roots in phenomenology and symbolic interactionism, focuses on exploring meanings associated with experiences of health, illness, illness-related stigma, and care-seeking for individuals and their families and on patterns of communication between clients of health services and service providers.
The field of health sociology also includes examination of the organization of healthcare institutions and their role in shaping the delivery of health services.
This area includes a long tradition of research focused on how medical students are socialized into the medical profession well as examinations of the culture of hospitals and nursing homes and implications for the quality of care provided.
Current research involves investigation of the effects of privatization and outsourcing of hospital support services and issues pertaining to the recruitment, retention, training and work dynamics of home support workers.