Skip to main content

Social and Health Inequalities (221-0-20)


Thomas McDade
1810 Hinman Ave., Room #202 , EV Campus
Thom McDade is a biological anthropologist specializing in human population biology. His work is primarily concerned with the dynamic interrelationships among society, biology and health over the life course, with an emphasis on life course approaches to stress and the human immune system.

Meeting Info

University Hall 102: Tues, Thurs 2:00PM - 3:20PM

Overview of class

What is a more important predictor of how long you will live, the genes you inherit from your parents, or the zip code of where you grew up? This course aims to answer this question, as well as others, regarding the origins of social disparities in health in the U.S. The course will also consider the broader global context, and ask why the U.S. spends so much money on health care but lags behind many nations in key indicators of population health. It will examine how social stratification by race/ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, education, and neighborhood quality shapes our biology and the health status of individuals, families, and populations; and, conversely, how health itself can be a fundamental determinant of key social outcomes such as educational achievement.

Evaluation Method

Class participation, short writing assignments, midterm and final exams.

Class Materials (Required)

M. Marmot (2015). The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World. Bloomsbury Press, NY. ISBN-13: 978-1632860804 Course pack of selected journal articles & book chapters (available as PDF or in print).

Class Attributes

Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
SDG Reduced Inequality
SDG Good Health and Well-being