wfsp2200  2019-2020  Bruxelles Woluwe

Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
20.0 h
Lorant Vincent;
Prerequisite:introductory course of sociology or sociology of health;
Credits et work load: 5ECTS, 20h
Other issues: this course is taught in English, in Louvain-La-Neuve per 3hr session.
Audience: wesp2228 is a course available on undergraduate of the Faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences, Master in Public Health and Master in Sociology;

The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
Main topics
Caring, informing  patients,  funding health care, clinical decision-making, team working and health care organisation are issues of interest for medical sociology.  This course helps the student to understand and analysie health care as sociological questions.  It addresses common issues in medical sociology such as health policies, health inequalities, illness experience, medical professions and doctor-patient relationships.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 Learning outcomes
By the end of the course, the student will be able to :
  • Explain major social issues relatedto health and health care.
  • Analyzea health (care) problem from a sociological perspective.
  • Collect andanalyze data to address a health (care) question from social network analysis perspective
  • Identify,introduce and criticize an important paper of health sociology
  • To use theUCINET software to manage, explore, and analyze a social network data.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The course covers major sociological issues from a micro, meso and macro perspectives. It aims to develop the ability to analyze the health and health care as a sociological phenomenon: deviance, experience, network, power or inequality.
  • Introduction; illness as deviance; the experience of chronic illness;
  • Norms, network and health behaviors
  • The social organization of the disease; patient-doctor interactions; medicalization of society;
  • Social Stratification and Health Inequalities: Theories
  • Social Stratification and Health Inequalities: exercises
  • Practical work with Ucinet
Teaching methods
Teaching method
The course is divided into two parts: the first presents the theory and concepts; the second includes excercises that may have to be prepared by the students before the course. It is recommended to bring a laptop with a downloaded demo version of UCINET.
Evaluation methods
The final score is based on two contributions : (1) a score for essay (80%) and (2) a rating for the oral presentation (20%). The essay involves designing, collecting,  analysing  and writing a study of social network analysis of health (care) behaviour.
Other information
Essay: social network analysis of health behaviour.
The aim is to conduct a social network study on in the field of health behaviors (diet, alcohol, tobacco, output, sexuality, ...). Students will select a topic of a health behaviors in the family or a group of students (a dormitory, an auditorium). The objective is (1) to argue why a social network approach is required; (2) to design and collect data with social network survey (name generator) (3) to explore and analyse the data with UCINET. The individual essay (group of two is also allowed) has 7 pages (excluding appendix) and will contain the following sections:
  • Introduction (± 2p): problems, literature review and objective.
  • Method (± 1p) observed network : who, what, when, "getting in".
  • Result (± 2p): the main results : participation, network structure, health behaviour, graphs, peer effect measures  (the notes or the graphs of social networks are in the appendix)
  • Discussion-Conclusion (± 2p): Limitations; what I learned ?  consistency with the literature? what do my results mean in practice ?
  • Appendix(observation notes and / or tables, additional graphs)
    The report is evaluated on four criteria: compliance with guidelines, link with course concepts, ability to analyze and contextualize the data (quantitative or qualitative), ability to present relevant social graphs, quality of literature used in the introduction and discussion. Work, regardless of the approach, is to be submitted before the start of the examination session on both icampus (wesp2228-work) and in the locker coordinator.
Course material:
Students have access to the following course material : slides (on iCampus); their own notes; a reading portofolio (see icampus); a textbook (Bury and Gabe,2004)
  • none
  • Eliot Freidson, Profession of Medicine : a study of the sociology of applied knowledge,  University of Chicago Press 1988.
  • Erving Goffman, Asiles : études sur la condition sociale des malades mentaux,  Editions de Minuit, Paris 1968.
  • Horward S. Becker, Outsiders : Etudes de sociologie de la déviance,  Métailié, Paris 1985.
  • Michael Bury and Jonathan Gabe, The sociology of Health and illness : a reader,  Routledge 2004.
  • Oakes J.,  Kaufman J, Methods in social epidemiology, Jossey Bass: San Francisco, 2006.
Teaching materials
  • none
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [60] in Sociology and Anthropology

Master [120] in Sociology

Bachelor in Human and Social Sciences

Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology

Master [120] in Public Health

Minor in Sociology and Anthropology