Health: a Common Good?

Université Catholique de Lille

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Health: a Common Good?

  • Host University

    Université Catholique de Lille

  • Location

    Lille, France

  • Area of Study

    Health Science, Public Health

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course will provide students with an overview of health and its various dimensions
    In the Western world, health is often understood in its restrictive sense of “absence of disease.”
    However, other cultures, along with the World Health Organization, emphasize the notion of
    “wellbeing,” as well as the social and environmental factors involved in health.
    Health and well-being can be seen as social constructs – a form of consensus that varies according
    to the social context. The implementation of the Welfare States in Europe was the result of a long
    process that has led our societies to envision health both as a right and as a common good.
    In this course, we will try to understand how health needs are understood and addressed in our
    societies thanks to input from various disciplines. This will help us nourish critical thinking
    regarding the place of health in our home societies.
    Class sessions will cover the following topics:
    - Introduction: mind-mapping health based on selected reading
    - health and welfare states: a social-historical approach of how welfare states came to be, based
    on the French example 
    - Public policy and epidemiology
    - A sociological and anthropological approach to health: health as a cultural notion (intercultural
    and gender issues), health and inequalities
    - Health economics: an economic approach to health and well-being as an investment +
    statistical software practice module
    - Visit to two health care providers (hospital or community centre) in Lille with opportunities to
    interact with French practitioners and decision-makers in the field of public health
    - Final assessment: students’ Country Reports, and evaluation

    Learning Outcomes:
    At the end of the course, the students should:
    - understand health in relation to a multidisciplinary “toolbox” (sociology, anthropology,
    political science and philosophy, economy, and social work)
    - understand the different concepts of health in the world including “absence of disease” versus
    “wellbeing,” and understand how health needs are apprehended and addressed in European
    societies thanks to input from various disciplines
    - employ critical thinking regarding the place of health in their home societies
    - be sensitive to intercultural communication and how it may affect their future professional
    lives in an international world

    Lectures, discussion, meeting with professionals, case studies, group work 

    All course materials will be supplied in class. They include slides and readings, such as:
    - VENKATAPURAM Sridhat (2011) Health Justice (introduction)
    - FREEMAN Richard (2000) The Politics of Health in Europe (chapter2)
    - Replication of LAYTE, R. and WHELAN, C.T. (2009) “Explaining Social Class Inequalities in
    Smoking: the Role of Education, Self-Efficacy and Depression”, European Sociological Review
    25(4): 399-410

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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