Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC2088: Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society: Part 2: Bodies in Society

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.


NQF Level 5
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Susan Kelly (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module will introduce you to contemporary sociological and anthropological ways of understanding how bodies are made, manipulated, shaped, reproduced, represented and experienced. You will explore how contemporary Western society takes for granted ‘the body’ and compare to cross cultural accounts of how bodies are made meaningful. This will lead you to consider how ‘culture’ shapes the body, and raise questions such as: How do new biomedical technologies change the ways in which people think about bodies? What connections can be drawn from these contemporary concerns with body size and health?As Part 2 of ‘Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society’, the module will continue themes introduced in Part 1 such as ‘ edicalisation', the ’ new public health’ and explaining health inequalities, but we will expand beyond the lens of health and illness. You will have the opportunity to explore specific topics relating to bodies and embodiment in contemporary society – for example, tattooing, body size, contraception, sport, fashion and identity - and in so doing will cultivate skills in research, writing and presentation of ideas. This module is recommended for students from sociology, anthropology, or the Flexible honours degree. There are no prerequisites, but a basic knowledge of sociology and anthropology is an advantage for the completion of the module.

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