Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


This course examines contemporary and historical debates over knowledge in health and medicine. It will focus on the social construction of knowledge and examine contested claims to truth and expertise in the fields of health and health care. The course will draw on contemporary sociological and anthropological theories of knowledge related to medical professional power, health and body ideals in the digital world and the social construction of mental illness.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2017.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Formulate arguments about the relationships between medicine, knowledge and power.

2. Apply sociological theories to explain aspects of health discourses.

3. Identify and critically analyse the social, political and cultural conditions which give rise to health discourses.

4. Demonstrate an informed and critical understanding of key concepts employed across paradigms of medical knowledge.

5. Demonstrate high-level oral and written communication skills.


3 Modules:

  1. Medical knowledge and Power
  2. Discourses of health and embodiment
  3. Mental Health: regulation and resistance

Assumed knowledge

40 units of study at 1000 level.

Assessment items

Presentation: Seminar Presentation 20%

Written Assignment: Written assignment 40%

In Term Test: Class test 30%

Participation: Seminar Participation 10%

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.