The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major social variables—social class, race, gender, poverty, income distribution, social networks/support, community cohesion, the work and neighborhood environment—that affect population health.

The course covers the theoretical underpinnings of each construct (e.g. "race" as a social category), and surveys the empirical research linking each to population health status. Methods are introduced to operationalize each construct for the purposes of empirical application in epidemiologic research.

Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.
CC-BY image courtesy of Scott Cresswell on Flickr

Meet The Faculty

Ichiro Kawachi

Ichiro Kawachi

Professor of Social Epidemiology; Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Ichiro Kawachi, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Social Epidemiology, and Chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Kawachi received both his medical degree and Ph.D. (in epidemiology) from the University of Otago, New Zealand. He has taught at the The Harvard Chan School since 1992. Kawachi has published over 400 articles on the social and economic determinants of population health. He was the co-editor (with Lisa Berkman) of the first textbook on Social Epidemiology, published by Oxford University Press in 2000. His other books include The Health of Nations with Bruce Kennedy (The New Press, 2002); Neighborhoods and Health with Lisa Berkman (Oxford University Press, 2003); Globalization and Health with Sarah Wamala of the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Oxford University Press, 2006), and Social Capital and Health (Springer, 2008) co-edited with S.V. Subramanian and Daniel Kim. Kawachi is the Senior Editor (Social Epidemiology) of the international journal Social Science & Medicine since 2000. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences.

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