Skip Navigation

Course Directory

Global Communication and Social Change


East Baltimore
2nd term
Health Behavior and Society
3 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Wednesday,  1:30 - 3:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Carol Underwood

410.612.01 Sociological Perspectives


Global communication plays a key role in bringing about changes in the world around us, whether with respect to changes in social norms, economic development or broad social change that affect public health. Yet, the effects of communication on health policy, health programming, and health practices are often overlooked. This course will encourage students to examine critically theories of communication, social change, and economic development and their application as related to public health.

Critically examines the intersection of theories of economic development, social change, and communication as applied to public health. Introduces the complex and dynamic role of global communication in the social determinants of health. Interrogates “development” discourses as applied to health communication in middle- and low-resource areas countries. Presents evaluations of communication interventions in low- and middle-resource nation-states. Investigates health communication endeavors abroad as well as in low-resource settings in the U.S.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Compare and contrast competing theories of social and economic development (or social change)
  2. Describe communication and/or sociological theories relevant to social change at various levels of the social ecological model
  3. Distinguish between social normative change and social change; articulate when they overlap
  4. Consider the diversity of peoples and cultures, the significance and impact of communication across social ecological levels in a global society, and how they affect health policies and health outcomes
  5. Describe the role of global communication in health interventions across social ecological levels
  6. Identify interventions at various levels of the social ecological model that are applicable to global communication and social change
  7. Identify and discuss future directions for global health communication
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 20% Discussion
  • 20% Group Presentation
  • 20% Midterm Paper
  • 40% Final Paper

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

This course blends traditional classroom time and outside-of-class activities with a corresponding reduction in class sessions. This class will meet once a week for two hours. Students are expected to spend one hour a week on class work in addition to regular homework. Outside-of-class activities will include required attendance at four JHSPH events (seminars, discussion series, symposiums) over the course of the term. Instructor approval prior to attendance at selected events and a one-page summary of each event will be required.