Header Image

Medical Sociology


Medical Sociology focuses on the social context of health, illness, and health care provision, including health care settings and professionals. Within this broad sociological subarea, UCR’s medical sociology faculty—one of the largest medical sociology collectives among US sociology graduate programs—study a diverse range of health issues using quantitative and qualitative methods. Some of these topics include:

  • the existence and (re)production of physical and mental health disparities by socioeconomic status/social class, race-ethnicity, immigrant status, sex and gender, sexual identity, and social capital
  • stigma regarding health behaviors, diagnoses, and disease conditions
  • health effects of neighborhood and local community social conditions
  • health and non-health policy impacts on the health of populations and vulnerable subgroups
  • health implications of discrimination and other stressors faced by marginalized persons
  • life adversities contributing to disease risk over the life course
  • political conflict and macro-level social conditions impacts on population health
  • the role of culture and acculturation for health and health disparities

UCR’s training environment reflects how medical sociology engages with other health-related disciplines and practitioners. Complementing the coursework and research training offered in Sociology are many other faculty and training and research opportunities throughout the UCR campus and region. These include opportunities in the UCR School of Public Policy; School of Medicine’s Department of Social Medicine, Population, & Public Health; and the School of Medicine’s Center for Healthy Communities, among other campus programs. There also are connections that can be made with local area government agencies, non-profit health organizations, and medical care providers, such as Riverside County Department of Public Health.