International Health: Cross-Cultural and Critical Social Science Perspectives

10 Units

This course explores how different dimensions of globalisation influence the making of international health. The uneven nature of many globalisation processes (such as the transnationalisation of: market/corporate capitalism, post-welfare policies, new technologies, population movements, consumerist cultural values and attitudes, financial crisis, food and environments insecurities, as well ethnic conflicts and violence) will be analysed in terms of their consequences for public health in different social contexts. The course will help students to develop a better understanding of the major challenges posed by the globalising world to health and well-being in 21 Century and the roles that different agents/bodies play in dealing with global health problems.

Faculty Faculty of Education and Arts
School School of Humanities and Social Science
Availability Semester 1 - 2018 (Callaghan)
Semester 1 - 2018 (Online)
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of social science approaches to international/global health.
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the social, economic, political and cultural factors involved in the creation, reproduction and perpetuation of health problems at the global level.
  3. Demonstrate skills in critically reading, analysing and evaluating international health literature through employing a global justice perspective.
  4. Demonstrate social science analytical skills through a cross-societal and critical study of international health issues.

This course will introduce students to major issues in international health, global social change and inequality. The aim will be to explore the socio-economic, cultural and political determinants of health at the global/international level by focusing on inequalities in the distribution of risks, responsibilities, power and opportunities across and within societies. The course provides students with an opportunity to broaden their views by adopting a global/international perspective in their inquiry into the main social, cultural, economic and political determinants of public health.

The course will focus specifically on global inequalities (both within and between societies) and the ways in which public health issues can be solved through developing and applying a global justice view. Substantive topics may be drawn from a range of areas including: theoretical approaches to health and development; gender/caste/class and health inequalities; poverty and population problems; HIV/AIDS in Africa; geographically-specific health concerns; civil conflicts and their impacts on health and well-being; recent bio-technological advancements such as GM food production, nano-technologies, etc.; and, international health policies.

Topics are likely to include:

  1. International/Global Health: past trends and present challenges, key concepts, key issues;
  2. Pathologies of Globalisation: globalisation and public health; theoretical frameworks and perspectives;
  3. Globalisation of health concerns, environmental hazards, risks and diseases (communicable and non-communicable);
  4. International health and global inequalities (transnational class, income, food and energy security);
  5. International health, gender and age;
  6. International health, transnational population movements, and ethnicity;
  7. International health and the global commercialisation of medication, corporate capitalism, market economy, and free trade;
  8. International health and the globalisation of new technologies;
  9. International health and the globalisation of post-welfare (neo-liberal) policies;
  10. International health and global players (international development and health programs and International Organisations such as WHO, INGOs, Social Movements);
  11. Towards a Global Justice and Human Rights Approach to International Public health;
Assumed Knowledge Undergraduate degree majoring in a Social Science, Health, or related discipline.
Assessment Items
  • Participation: Participation in Blackboard discussions
  • Essay: Essay 1
  • Essay: Essay 2

Contact Hours



Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Participation in Online activities


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term



Online 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Participation in Online activities


Online 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for SOCA6100
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