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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2010

SOC 336D • Race, Class, and Health

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46430 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
BUR 216

Course Description

Note: AFR 374 and SOC 321K cannot also be counted

This course critically examines Health Status and Health Care Disparities among Racial/Ethnic minority groups in the United States. We will review the complex relationship between social class (socioeconomic status) and health status, the effect of race/ethnicity on health outcomes and access to healthcare, and specific health issues for major racial/ethnic minority groups in the U.S. The topics include conceptual issues central to understanding how low socioeconomic status leads to poor health, understanding how conscious, unconscious, and institutionalized racial bias affects medical care and health outcomes, and addressing ideas for reducing health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities.

Grading Policy

Class activities will include lectures and discussions of various topics. All examinations cover assigned reading materials, topics covered in lectures, additional readings if necessary, and discussions. There will be four in-class exams worth 100 points each. The in-class exams will cover the reading and lecture materials prior to that exam. The format of the in-class exams will be multiple-choice and short-answer questions. In addition to exams, students will write two short essays (500-600 words). Each essay is worth 50 points each. These essays are designed to assess the understanding of the current status and cause of health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities in the US and the complex relationship between Socioeconomic Status and Race in US Health Care systems.


Barr, Donald A. 2008 "Health Disparities in the United States: Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, and Health," The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
LaVeist, Thomas A. 2005 "Minority Populations and Health: An Introduction to Health Disparities in the United States," Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint
Smedley, Brian D., A.Y. Stith, A.R. Nelson, 2003 “Summary Abstract of Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care,” Institute of Medicine, The National Academic Press (pdf file on blackboard)


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