— M.A., M.S., University of Texas at Austin
PhD Candidate; PRC Graduate Student Trainee
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office: CLA 2.620B
- Campus Mail Code: G1800
Isaac Sasson is a PhD candidate in Sociology and graduate trainee at the Population Research Center. He came of age in central Israel and attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he double majored in Environmental Science and Sociology to avoid a career in high-tech. He then moved to Texas to pursue his (scholarly) passion for fertility, mortality, and migration. Isaac holds Master’s degrees in Sociology and Statistics from UT-Austin and is currently working on his doctoral dissertation. He specializes in sociology and demography of health, on which he had also taught undergraduate courses, but maintains an active interest in environmental sociology and the sociology of science.
Isaac enjoys working in diverse subject areas and has conducted research on demographic responses to land degradation in sub-Saharan Africa using satellite imagery; psychological adjustment to widowhood using rich longitudinal data; and comparing linear and nonlinear hierarchical models of self-rated health using simulation. He is a former graduate fellow of the Division of Statistics & Scientific Computation and statistical consultant at the Population Research Center.
SOC F354K • Sociology Of Health & Illness
MTWTHF 100pm-230pm CLA 0.128
Health inequality is perhaps the most fundamental of social inequalities, and as such continues to be a primary topic of interest for sociologists. Despite remarkable improvements in human health and longevity over the past two centuries, health disparities persist across multiple social dimensions. The main course objective is then to move beyond biological and biomedical explanations of disease, which emphasize individual risk factors, and instead view health and illness as socially patterned phenomena. The first half of the course will examine two disparate macro-sociological phenomena: 1) the transition from societies with high mortality and life expectancy below 40 to societies characterized by chronic diseases and life expectancy exceeding 80; 2) the persistence of health inequality across class, race, and gender throughout the same historical period. The second part of the course will deal with micro-sociological aspects of health, including health behaviors and their diffusion through social networks. The third part will deal with the medical profession and social construction of medical knowledge. Toward the end of the course, if time permits, we will cover additional topics such as the health care system and bioethics. While the course is primarily focused on contemporary U.S. society, it will often employ historical and global perspectives in comparison.
Readings will be posted on Blackboard.
5% Class participation and office hour attendance (at least once throughout semester)
35% Written assignments
30% Midterm exam
30% Final exam
Letter grades will be based on the following performance levels: A (94-100), A- (90-93), B+ (87-89), B (84-86), B- (80-83), C+ (77-79), C (74-76), C- (70-73), D+ (67-69), D (64-66), D- (60-63), F (59 or lower)
* Grading scheme subject to change until first class day
SOC S308 • Intro Sociol Health/Well-Being
MTWTHF 830am-1000am BUR 216
The course introduces how sociological theory can contribute to our understanding of health, illness, mortality, and medicine. The main course objective is to move beyond biological and medical explanations of disease, which typically focus on the individual, and instead view health and illness as social phenomena. First, we examine the social determinants of disease and mortality in the U.S. and the West, as well as the main health challenges facing less developed nations. Then, we shift our focus to sociological models of illness at the individual level and the spread of health behaviors through social networks. In the third section we gain critical insight into the medical profession and the construction of medical knowledge. Toward the end of the course, if time permits, we will cover additional topics including the health care system, bioethics, and environmental risks. While the course will focus primarily on contemporary U.S. society, we will often employ historical and global perspectives in comparison.
Weitz, Rose. 2012. The Sociology of Health, Illness, and Health Care: A Critical Approach (6th edition). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Publishing.
Course grades will be determined as follows:
5% Class participation + attend office hours at least once
20% Two written assignments (10% each)
15% Group assignment
30% Midterm exam
30% Final exam