Health: a Common Good?
Université Catholique de Lille
Area of Study
Health Administration, Public Health
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
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
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
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