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Course Catalog

308.842.98 SS/R: a Transdisciplinary Systems Approach to Addressing Social Determinates of Health Inequities

Department:
Health Policy and Management
Term:
2nd term
Credits:
3 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Location:
Barcelona, Spain
Dates:
Thu 11/23/2017 - Sat 11/25/2017
Class Times:
  • Th F Sa,  8:30am - 6:00pm
Auditors Allowed:
No
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Contact:
Judith Holzer
Course Instructor:
  • Joan Benach
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only
Resources:
Description:

Although there is abundant literature on the analysis of SDHI, most research approaches are based on limited risk factor analyses and other reductionistic linear behavioral and biological perspectives. The advance of ‘complexity science’ and ‘systems thinking’ across a broad range of practices and tools (e.g., system dynamics, network analysis, and agent-based modeling) allows one to consider the causes and solutions for complex challenges such as obesity and addiction, which follow complex systems characteristics such as nonlinearity, feedback loops, or chaotic behavior.

Introduces a novel transdisciplinary approach on Social Determinants of Health Inequities (SDHI). Provides an in-depth understanding of macro, meso and micro levels, all of which generate health inequities. Prepares students to examine the changes, causes, and potential policies to address systemic public health and equity-related subjects and the complex interactions between biology, behaviors, society and politics. Integrates a broad range of disciplines, ‘systems thinking’ practices, and methodological pluralism. Reviews research advances, including explanatory case studies and the evaluation of policies and interventions to reduce health inequities.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and critically analyze some limitations of mainstream Public Health Research
  2. Review causalities in SDHI research identifying a complex systems thinking approach across a broad range of disciplines and tools
  3. Describe the usefulness of a complex systems research paradigm for the monitoring, implementation, and evaluation of policies to reduce health inequities
  4. Describe key issues on SDHI (e.g., politics, social class, precariousness, geography) under a transdisciplinary systemic research approach
Methods of Assessment:

Class participation in topic debates (30%); group oral presentation (30%); individual position paper (40%)

Enrollment Restriction:

undergraduate and interdivisional students are not permitted in this section

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Full-time JHU students must obtain permission to register from Judy Holzer in HPM.

For consent, contact:

judith.holzer@jhu.edu

Special Comments:

This course will be offered for 3 days in Barcelona. Students must physically be in Barcelona to participate. Students are required to complete readings prior to the start of the course in order to participate in active debates and will be contacted prior to the start of class to identify a topic in which they will take the lead and to identify the topic of the final paper. The final paper due on Dec 19, 2017.