Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Class information

SOC231 Sociology of Healthy Aging

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  • CRN: 40920
  • Credits: 4
  • Locations, days, times, and instructors:
    • Online, Available 24/7
      From September 26 through December 17, 2022, Jenny R Sasser

Class materials


No textbooks required

Open educational resources (OER)

The following free or inexpensive materials are used for this class:

Details about this class

Hello! Thank you for your interest in SOC 231 Sociology of Healthy Aging!

Though this online course is designated a Sociology course, it is sponsored by the Gerontology program and taught by a gerontologist.  As such, while the central focus of our explorations of health and aging is through a sociological lens -- looking at how social structures, contexts, and systems shape individual experiences --  this course is also gerontological in that aging is foregrounded and considered as a bio-psycho-social, life-long process. 

The central theme woven throughout this course is the life-course impact of systems of inequality and social determinants of health on individual well-being.  How individuals and particular groups of people (women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+, for example) experience aging is strongly shaped by the social contexts in which their lives unfold.  The aging body is as much a social phenomenon as it is a biophysical phenomenon; we cannot consider normal aging as well as aging-related changes in how the body functions and is experienced without considering who an individual is and how they are contextualized in the social world.  Health and aging processes are influenced by social structural and cultural factors, including age, abilities, nationality, race/ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, education, and religious and political beliefs.

This online course is designed to be a collaborative learning community, with a high level of student and instructor participation. In addition to required weekly reading and discussion assignments, there are two major learning projects in this course: A Personal Health Essay, due around mid-term, and a capstone Final Project Essay, due in week 11. 

Questions? Please contact me!

Jenny Sasser, Ph.D.


co-chair and instructor, Gerontology program




There is no additional technology required for this class.

Online class information

No show policy
Your instructor can mark you as a "no show" if you do not participate in your class during the first week. This will remove you from the class. It is important to log in as soon as the class starts to see what the participation requirements are.
Online & Remote Teaching Technical Requirements:
Please be sure to read the quick guide to Online Learning technical requirements.
Students with Disabilities:
Students with disabilities should notify their instructor if accommodations are needed to take this class. For information about technologies that help people with disabilities taking Online based classes please visit the Disability Services website.
Online Prerequisite | Start Guide for Online Learning:
Before you take your first online class at PCC, you must complete the start guide for online learning. The start guide will help you decide if online classes are right for you. Once you complete the start guide, you will be eligible to register for online classes.

The Start Guide is not required for Hybrid or Remote Classes but strongly recommended. To learn more, go to https://www.pcc.edu/osg