308.610.01 | AY 2012-2013 - 3rd Term | 3 Credit(s)
Th 5:15:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    Vicente Navarro
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Information not required for this course type

  • Course Description
    Focuses on the economic and political causes for the growth of social inequalities in the U.S. and in the world and its consequences for health and quality of life. Emphasizes the increasing concentration of power and the way it appears in health and vital statistics. Requires active participation of the students in the discussion of the issues involved. Also discusses the classical works of Wilkinson, Kawachi, Kennedy, Muntaner, Shi, Navarro and others.

    Additional Faculty Notes:
    Over the last decade, there has been a significant growth in social inequalities, both within and between countries. This growth has serious consequences for the level of health and well-being of many populations. This course analyzes the nature of the phenomenon of social inequality and explores different theories that have been developed to explain it. For example, one major explanation for the growth in social inequalities holds that globalization of the economy presumably reduces the power of nation states to take action to reduce inequalities and forces a reduction in the expanse of the welfare state. This course analyzes this explanation and examines the empirical evidence that supports or questions the assumptions behind such theories.

  • Intended Audience

    Additional Faculty Notes:
    This course is intended for graduate students interested in social inequalities. Enrollment is limited and permission is required to enroll. All other students including undergraduates are invited to participate if space is available.

  • Methods of Assessment
    Student evaluation based on class participation and essays.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Evaluation will be based on each student's participation in the debate of assigned readings.  Students who are taking the class for a letter grade will prepare a 10-page paper on a subject of their choice that relates to the course content.  For those students writing the paper, proposed paper topics must be submitted to the TA no later than February 19 for approval.  Papers are due the last day of class.

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Required Texts:

    Navarro, V. (ed.) Neoliberalism, Globalization and Inequalities. New York: Baywood Publishing, 2007.

    Navarro, V. & Muntaner, C. (eds.)  Political and Economic Determinants of Population Health and Well-Being, Controversies and Developments. New York: Baywood Publishing, 2004.

    Navarro, V. (ed.) The Political Economy of Social Inequalities: Consequences for Health and Quality of Life.  New York: Baywood Publishing, 2001.

    Wilkinson, R.G. and Pickett, K.  The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better.  Allen Lane, 2009.

    Optional Texts (background reading):

    Marmot, M. The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects our Health and Longevity.  New York: An Owl Book, 2004.

    Navarro, V. (ed.) The Political and Social Contexts of Health. New York:  Baywood Publishing, 2004.

    Krieger, N. (ed.) Embodying Inequality: Epidemiologic Perspectives (Policy, Politics, Health and Medicine). New York: Baywood Publishing, 2005.

    Wilkinson, R.G. The Impact of Inequality: How to Make Sick Societies Healthier. New York: New Press, 2005.

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Course topics
    Themes to be analyzed in this course include: 1)What is meant by the globalization of the economy? 2)What is the difference between the globalization and regionalization of economies? 3)What changes are occurring in public health and social policies that are attributable to the process of globalization? 4)What are the causes of the recent growth in social inequalities? 5)What are the health and social consequences of greater inequality?
  • Course Objectives(from old syllabus)

    The course is primarily conducted in an interactive seminar format, which requires active student participation in the discussion and debate of the issues covered. Each week, chapters from the required texts will be assigned to be read before the next class session, and each week one student will volunteer to lead a discussion of the readings. Please see the “Guidelines for Leading a Seminar Discussion”.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at