Health and Society Minor

Health and Society Program Minor

Health and Society is a multidisciplinary field that examines human health as an eco-social phenomenon and draws principally from the humanities and social sciences. The rapid global growth of things “health” - public health, health care, health policy, and biomedical sciences and technology - in the face of growing disparities raises serious questions about the underlying social conditions that contribute to collective health and illness. Thus the intersections of gender, race, social class, sexuality, and ethnicity in a transnational and global context are central focal points in the Minor. This Minor is fitting for any student interested in learning about health and its social, cultural, political, ethical, environmental, and economic dimensions.

Goals for the Health and Society Minor

 The Health and Society Minor seeks to educate students to:

•   Understand historical and current collective efforts to improve health

•   Introduce students to the multiple social determinants of health and their complex interactions

•   Examine how gender, race, class, sexuality, age, and ability shape health, illness, healing, and health care

•   Analyze how health problems are defined and how strategies for improved health are selected and implemented

 Requirements for the Health and Society Minor

 The Health and Society Minor consists of five units:

1.  WGST 150 Health and Society. This required introduction course is open to first-years and sophomores; juniors and seniors may enroll only with permission of the instructor.

2.    Four 200 level (or higher) electives from the list of Courses Approved Toward the Health and Society Minor.

•        At least one of the four electives must be in the WGST Department.

•        At least one must be a 300 level elective

*Students wishing to count a non-Wellesley course toward the Health and Society minor must petition the Program co-directors prior to course enrollment.

* The Minor is open to students in any major at the College. WGST majors can do the Health and Society minor so long as no single course counts toward both the major and the minor.

Courses for Credit Toward the Health and Society Minor

The following courses may be counted as electives for the Health and Society Minor. Courses not listed may be accepted by petition to the Program co-directors. Note that some 200- and 300- level courses have prerequisites that do not count toward the Minor.

AFR 226

Environmental Justice, "Race," and Sustainable Development

AFR 297

Medical Anthropology: A Comparative Study of Healing Systems

AFR 340

Seminar. Topics in African American History

ANTH 238

The Vulnerable Body: Anthropological Understandings

ANTH 251

Cultures of Cancer

ANTH 274

Anthropological Genetics

ANTH 314

Human Biology and Society

CPLT 334

Literature and Medicine

ECON 232

Health Economics

ECON 332

Advanced Health Economics

PE 205

Sports Medicine

PHIL 249

Medical Ethics

POL1 317

Health Politics and Policy

SOC 241/AMST 241

A Nation in Therapy

SOC 314

Global Health and Social Epidemiology

WGST 200

Introduction to Reproductive Issues: Culture and Politics

WGST 212

Feminist Bioethics

WGST 214

Women and Health

WGST 220

American Health Care History in Gender, Race, and Class Perspective

WGST 240

U.S. Public Health

WGST 304

Seminar. Public Health and Colonial Medicine in Southeast Asia

WGST 310

Health Activism

WGST 321

Seminar. Gender, Justice and Health Policy

WGST 330

(Im)Morality on Stage: Repro-Eugenics in Twentieth-Century United States

WGST 340

Seminar. Global Health



Contact Us

Contact Us

Department of
Wome​n's and Gender Studies

Founders Hall 422
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Rosanna Hertz
Department Chair

Betty Tiro
Administrative Assistant

Tel: 781.283.2538
Fax: 781.283.3630