SOCI177 – Disparities in Urban Health
This course will provide students with a foundation for understanding how history, power, privilege and structural inequality interact to produce urban health disparities. An advanced sociology course, Disparities in Urban Health will introduce students to the impact of city life on health and health care in the U.S. and internationally. We will look at the advantages and disadvantages of urbanization on both physical and mental health and the root causes of racial and ethnic disparities in health. We will trace the interaction between specific aspects (e.g., housing, transportation, food outlets, crime) of the urban environment and their impact on health, discuss quality measurement, evaluate strategies for designing healthy communities, and develop recommendations for systems and policy change.
Week 1 – Introductions, Course Overview and Goals
Week 2 – Foundations of the Urban Environment and Health: Introduction to Sociology of Health and the Impact of Urban Life on Vulnerable Populations
1/21 – Reading Assignments Due
- Weitz – Weitz_Sociology of Health, Illness and Health Care (pgs. 2-8)
- Weitz – “The Social Sources of Illness” in The Sociology of Health, Illness and Health Care (pgs. 14-25)
- Freudenberg, Galea and Vlahov – Changing Living Conditions, Changing Health in Cities and the Health of the Public
- Defining Urban_Key Terms (Defining urban, urbanization, urban development)
- World Health Organization – Hidden Cities: Unmasking and Overcoming Health Inequities in Urban Settings (pgs. 4-17) – http://www.who.int/kobe_centre/publications/hiddencities_media/who_un_habitat_hidden_cities_web.pdf
Week 3: Defining Health Disparities and Health Equity; The Social Determinants and Demography of Urban Health; Locating and Understanding Health Disparities Data
1/28 – Reading Assignments Due:
- Braveman et al. – Health Disparities and Health Equity: The Issue Is Justice, AJPH 2011.
- Williams and Sternthal – Understanding Racial-ethnic Disparities in Health: Sociological Contributions, JHSB 2010.
- Massey – Age of Extremes: Concentrated Affluence and Poverty in the Twenty-first Century, Demography 1996.
- Ford and Airhihenbuwa – Critical Race Theory, Race Equity, and Public Health: Toward Antiracism Praxis, Am J Public Health 2010. (we will review in class)
- Why Population Matters to Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS http://populationaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/PAI-1293-DISEASE_compressed.pdf
**There will be a quiz on key terms (e.g., urbanization, prevalence, incidence) reviewed during our previous class session.
In-Class Research Methods Activity: Links to Data Visualization Tools
Week 4: Housing, Segregation and the Built Environment
2/4 – Reading Assignments Due:
- Krieger & Higgins – Housing and Health: Time Again for Public Health Action
- Goodman and Gilbert – Segregation: Divided Cities Lead to Differences in Health (Policy Brief)
- Jacobs- Environmental Health Disparities in Housing, AJPH
- Lopez & Hynes – Obesity, Physical Activity, and the Urban Environment: Public Health Research Needs, Environ Health
- Census Scope Segregation Dissimilarity Indices (rankings, compare different cities)
- Black-White Segregation Indices for Metro Areas (1990-2010 Decennial Censuses) (compare segregation indices across years)
- 21 Maps Of Highly Segregated Cities In America
Week 5: Food Insecurity in Urban Environments
2/11 – Reading Assignments Due:
- Ghosh-Dastidar et al – Distance to Store, Food Prices & Obesity in Urban Food Deserts, AJPM
- The Food Trust – Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Food and Why It Matters (read the Executive Summary – pgs. 7-9)
- Walker et al – Disparities and Access to Healthy Food in the United States: A Review of Food Deserts Literature, Health and Place
- Bajaj – As Grain Piles Up, India’s Poor Still Go Hungry, NY Times
Guest Speaker: Tambra Raye Stevenson, Nutrition Justice Advocate and Founder, NativSol [please arrive to class on time–we will start promptly with our guest speaker]
Research Methods Activity: Defining and Locating Food Deserts
USDA – Food Deserts and Food Desert Locators
Week 6: Violence and Crime as Urban Public Health Issues
2/18 – Reading Assignments Due:
- RWJF – “Violence, Social Disadvantage and Health.” Issue Brief #10 2011.
- Pousssaint and Alexander – “Blacks and Victim-Precipitated Homicide: Suicide by Cops, Fatalistic Behavior and Mental Illness” in Lay My Burden Down.
- APHA Policy Statement – Impact of Police Violence on Public Health
- Curry et al – “Pathways to Depression: The Impact of Neighborhood Violent Crime on Inner-City Residents in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.” Soc Sci Med 2009.
- Voice of America – Researchers Find Higher Mental Illness Among City Dwellers
Week 7: Final Project Planning Session
2/25/15 – We will not meet formally for class. You should use the class time to work on your group projects (e.g., conduct literature searchers, pull data, conduct interviews with community organizations or members, take photos of the neighborhood that you are studying, etc.).
3/4/15 Mid-Term Exam
Week 9: HIV/AIDS and Social Networks
3/11/15 – Reading Assignments Due:
- Poundstone et al – “The Social Epidemiology of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.” Epidemiol Rev 2004.
- Freidman et al – “Structural and Social Contexts of HIV Risk Among African Americans.” AJPH 2009.
- HIV/AIDS and Urban Development in Sub-Saharan Africa in “A Pro-poor Urban Agenda for Africa” (pgs. 46-59).
- Sun – “In D.C., HIV Infection Rate Nearly Doubles for Some Poor Black Women.” WashPost 2012.
- McEnery – “Why is HIV Ravaging DC?”– IAVIReport 2010.
- Additional Resource: Concurrency and Reachability: Transmission in a Dynamic Network (social network analysis and HIV transmission) – video
Guest Speaker: TBD or Watch: Yesterday film
Week 10: Spring Break
3/18/15 – No Class
Week 11: Environmental Justice: Air, Water and Climate Change
3/24/15 – Reading Assignments Due:
- O’Neill, et al. – “Health, Wealth, and Air Pollution: Advancing Theory and Methods.”
- Pastor et al – “Environment, Disaster, and Race After Katrina.” Race, Poverty and the Envir. Summer 2006.
- Bullart et al – “Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty: 1987-2007—Grassroots Struggles to Dismantle Environmental Racism in the United States.” Read pgs. 1-14 (Introduction, 1-6; Chapter 1, 7-14)
- World Health Organization – “Climate Change and Health”
Week 12: Health Care Systems and Governance
4/1/15 – Reading Assignments Due:
- Smedley, Stith and Nelson – “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care” (executive summary). National Academies Press/Institute of Medicine 2003.
- Jackson and J. Nadine Gracia – “Addressing Health and Health-Care Disparities: The Role of a Diverse Workforce and the Social Determinants of Health.” Public Health Reports 2014.
- Sabin et al – “Physician Implicit and Explicit Attitudes about Race by Gender, Race and Ethnicity.” Executive Summary by invitation of Congresswoman Christen 2008.
- Ebola: Rural and Urban Issues in Access to Health Care in Africa – reading TBD
- Byrd and Clayton – “An American Health Dilemma: A History of Blacks in the Health System.” J Natl Med Assoc 1992.
- Lubin – “Fifty Years After Medicare Desegregated Hospitals, Blacks Still Fighting for Health Care Access.” Huffington Post 2015.
Week 13: Research, Planning and Intervention Strategies; Community Development and Public Health Advocacy
4/8/15 – Reading Assignments Due:
- Bone et al. – “Building a Navigation System to Reduce Cancer Disparities among Urban Black Older Adults.” Prog Community Health Partnership 2013.
- Basett et al. – “Strategies that Promote Health in Citis” in Handbook of Urban Health: Populations, Methods, and Practice. New York, NY: Springer.” [Access via Blackboard folder – Research, Planning and Intervention Strategies]
- Minkler and Hancock – “Community-Driven Asset Identification and Issue Selection” in Community-Based Participatory Research for Health.
Quiz on April 1st Readings and Discussion
4/15/15 Final Presentations
4/22/15 Last Day of Class
Quiz on Public Health Planning – Readings and Lecture for Week 13