Health, Risk, and History
Dr. Graham Mooney
This undergraduate seminar reviews modernist notions of ‘risk society’ and how and why they have come to pervade public health discourse and practice. We begin with interpretations of modernity and how risk society emerged from these. We then move on to consider the ways in which health is intimately connected to the formulation of risk, before tackling specific issues on a weekly basis.
This is a reading seminar and the full participation of students is essential. You will be expected to come to each class at the very least having digested the required readings and be prepared to talk about them. Study questions are provided and these will give us a starting point for discussion. Additional materials such as data, policy documents, government publications and images, will be introduced during class to stimulate and inform our debates.
Week 1 Introduction
Week 2 What is modernity?
Week 3 Risk society
Week 4 Modernity, risk and health
Week 5 Epidemics and risk
Week 6 Occupational health and risk
Week 7 Insuring against health risk
Week 8 Environmental health
Week 9 Student presentations on occupational health
Week 10 Risky food
Week 11 Teenage pregnancy
Week 12 Sexually transmitted diseases
Week 13 Communicating risk
1. Presentation: 30 per cent. Attendance and participation in student presentations on occupational health, industrial processes and risk is a course requirement (Week 9). Students will work in small groups towards a presentation on a topic decided in class during Week 6. While some additional readings on each topic will be distributed in class, this presentation is primarily an exercise to hone your research, team-work and presentational skills. You will be notified of the assessment criteria for presentations in week 6.
2. Written paper: 70 per cent. Your individual paper (no more than 10 typed pages) will be based on the group presentation on occupational health in Week 9. The title will be agreed with me by the end of Week 9. Individual appointments will be made to discuss drafts before final submission in week 13.
It is recommended that you make yourself very familiar with the following books:
Ulrich Beck. 1992. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London. Sage. Paperback. ISBN 0803983468. $39.95.
Anthony Giddens. 1990. The Consequences of Modernity. Stanford, California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804718911. $17.95.
Deborah Lupton. 1999. Risk. London and New York. Routledge. Paperback. ISBN 0415183340. $19.95.